Published on May 20th, 2011 | by Arsalan Mir8
Universal Service Fund: Pride of Pakistan Telecom
We have covered Universal Service Fund (USF) of Pakistan in a number of posts, including interview of its CEO, Mr. Parvez Iftikhar. On this World Telecom day 2011, Universal Service Fund (USF) has launched a documentary which sheds light on the enormous benefits being brought through it’s Programmes for rural communities. Some achievements of USF are noteworthy to mention are:
- Basic telephony and data services in 3,500 previously un-served villages.
- 2,900 kms of Optic Fiber Cables have been laid through subsidy contracts connecting 53 unserved Tehsils with 5,300 kms of cables.
- 238 previously-unserved towns now have more than 200,000 USF-funded broadband connections.
- Subsidy winning service-providers are obliged to provide free Broadband Internet to all higher-secondary schools, libraries and colleges in their areas. So far 790 such institutions have been covered.
The key points why USF is success story discussed in our previous post include:
- Low rate of taxes (1.5% versus 5-6% in other countries in the region).
- Setup as an independent entity – means faster decision making and transparency in performance.
- Management structure is a combination of private and government sector – thereby making sure that the policy and implementation is balanced for all stakeholders.
- Leadership – having visionary, result-driven leadership has been vital to the success of USF. Mr. Parvez Iftikhar is at the core of making USF a successful institution.
With aim to connect the unconnected and to bridge the digital divide by providing Telecom for All, USF is undoubtedly doing a great job. Check out the video documentary below.