PTCL to reduce service charges soon: Leghari
ISLAMABAD: Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari, the minister for information technology and telecommunications said that the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited would soon announce sweeping reductions in prices of various products required for the expansion of broadband services.
According to an official statement issued on Saturday, he said this on the occasion of releasing the broadband policy in the public domain. He said the policy of deregulation announced by the government last year had been a success. “It has exposed the entrepreneurial spirit of the Pakistanis, helping businesses flourish and the sector grow at a tremendous rate,” the statement quoted Mr Leghari as saying. He said many of the new LDI/WLL licensees are newly-formed companies and several of them had already joined ranks as consortiums with multi-disciplinary equity partners.
“There is very little precedence of this in the past and we would like to see the broadband policy feeding this positive development,” he said and added that the policy has also been placed on the website www.moitt.gov.pk of the ministry of information technology. Mr Leghari said the process of implementation of the broadband policy would be completed at a very fast pace. “We would also expect all stakeholders, particularly the entrepreneurs providing Internet services, to use this opportunity to ensure a rapid and optimal delivery of the service.”
He said the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority would also be given full support by the government in establishing an enabling environment under the policy directive while keeping the element of expediency prominent. “We want Pakistan to be the regional leader in promoting ubiquitous broadband access in the country as this will promote Pakistan as the most progressive nation in the region,” he said.
He said there would be 100 percent universal Internet coverage in the country by June 2005, which represents a major boon for the sector and the key stakeholders in the sector to gear up to use broadband for improving services in their sectors. “Providing broadband access proliferation is only half the battle as its use by the various social sectors remains crucial for realization of the true benefits,” he added.
He also called for providing incentives to sectors such as health and education to use broadband access to improve and extend the reach of social services crucial to the well-being of the people.
Mr Leghari said a key feature of the broadband policy was content development and the ministry had already taken steps such as organization of competitions for best websites in local languages at the college and university level to promote content development. “The policy also envisages many major steps to address content development component,” he added.