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The Universal Service Fund (USF) awarded contract worth PKR 588 Million to Telenor Pakistan for providing hi-speed broadband in Sanghar Lot (Sindh). Federal Minister IT& Telecom, Syed Amin ulHaque inaugurated the NextGeneration Broadband for Sustainable Development project in Sanghar (Districts of Sanghar and Umerkot)at a ceremony held at Ministry of IT & Telecom on Thursday. The contract was signed by HaarisMahmood Chaudhry, CEO USF and Irfan Wahab Khan, CEO Telenor Pakistan. Secretary IT, Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui was also present at the ceremony.

Chief Guest of the ceremony, Syed Amin ulHaque stated thatunder the vision of Digital Pakistan, the Ministry of IT & Telecom is taking concrete steps to spread the benefits of digitalization to the masses. He said that during the spreadof Coronavirus, Ministry of IT & Telecom will keep on making efforts to ensure that broadband connectivity helps us overcome this crisis. He added thatthe key stakeholders in IT & Telecom sector should work together vigorously to come up with innovative ways for fighting against Covid 19 through technology. He congratulated the teams of USF and Telenor Pakistan and also hoped that they will continue to achieve these milestones in future as well.

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While sharing his views at the ceremony, Shoaib Ahmad Siddiquisaid that the main objective of USF is to facilitate the masses through broadband technology in the country. He added that during the Corona Virus pandemic, Ministry of IT & Telecom is making sure that broadband connectivity plays an integral part in creating ease for people. He further said that USF projects are already making a huge difference in lives of people and with the new challenging scenario during the spread of Corona virus, these projects have become more crucial for socio-economic benefit.

Also speaking at the ceremony, HaarisMahmood Chaudhry, CEO USF informed that Federal Minister, Syed Amin ulHaque, Secretary IT,Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui and USF Board of Directors have been giving constant guidance and support to USF for making rapid progress. He also added that all these projects are playing an integral role in enabling people of Pakistan to carry on their activities through broadband technology during the Covid 19 pandemic.

Through the project in Sanghar lot, broadband coverage will be provided in 500mauzas in Sanghar, covering an approximate unserved area of 12,000 sq. kmandbenefitting a population of 1.47 million people.

Sharing his views on the development, Irfan Wahab Khan, CEO Telenor Pakistan said, “We are more committed than ever before to strengthen the pillar of connectivity as part of our purpose of connecting people to what matters most to them. At Telenor Pakistan we are driven to empower the country through enhanced connectivity, creating opportunities and uplifting the lives of millions and stand firm in our commitment to break socio-economic barriers through the use of mobile technology.”

Senior officials of the Ministry of IT, USF and Telenor Pakistanwere also present at the ceremony.

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