Universal Tele Centers in remote areas may pose a challenge for USF

ISLAMABAD (NADEEM REPORT)

“Universal Tele Centers in remote areas may pose a challenge for USF which must be managed through proactive planning at all stages of project implementation and operation”, said Mr. Akhlaq A. Tarar, Federal Secretary for Ministry of IT & Telecom.

“It is very encouraging to note that after successful implementation of broadband program in 2nd and 3rd tier cities and towns, though not yet fully covered, but progressing well, IT Ministry is embarking upon a program of establishing the Universal Telecenters (UTCs) in the rural areas of country through USF”, said Mr. Akhlaq A. Tarrar, Secretary IT Ministry. He was chairing a follow-up meeting on “Telecenters Programme” here today. Dr. Jamal Yousaf, JS (IT &Telecom), Senior Officials from USF and representatives of provincial governments and NADRA were also present on the occasion.

Mr. Akhlaq A. Tarrar was of the view that Service Centers in very remote areas might pose a logistic and security challenge for USF, coupled with difficulties in access to the areas with security related issues that had to manage through proactive planning and engaging stakeholders at all stages of project implementation and operation.

He said that the Ultimate goal of setting up Universal Telecenter would be to create a service centre that would offer useful services like domiciles, licenses, e-sahulat facilities and various NADRA Services etc.

Speaking on the occasion the Federal Secretary said, “One of the major challenges that the programme will have to face, especially under the current circumstances, entails the maintenance and support issues on part of these licensed Broadband Service Providers (BSPs) during the initial phase of provision of technical support to Universal Telecenters”.

Representatives from the Provincial Governments vowed to extend their full cooperation towards this initiative and mentioned that focal persons would be nominated at the district level preferably the respective District Coordination Officers (DCOs) to supervise this initiative.

Universal Tele Center is considered to be an effective mean in extending broadband internet to rural areas and it also facilitates in enhancing ICT literacy.

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