Universal Service Fund was established by the Government of Pakistan (Ministry of Information Technology) to spread the benefits of the telecom revolution to all corners of Pakistan. Universal Service Fund promotes the development of telecommunication services in un-served and under-served areas throughout the length and breadth of the country.
The fund consists of contributions (1.5% of adjusted revenues) by the Telecom Operators with no Government funding involved. To utilize this fund for achievement of the targets, it was decided to follow a Corporate Model. This led to establishment of Universal Service Fund (USF) Company under Section 42 of the Companies Ordinance 1984. Universal Service Fund (USF) has an independent Board of Directors equally balanced between four members from the government and four from the private sector (industry and consumers).
The structure of USF Company is first of its kind in Pakistan and a Corporate Model is being followed for achieving the targets set for the company in USF policy. USF Company has an independent and diversified Board of Directors which is equally balanced between four members from the government and four from the private sector. CEO is the 9th director of the Board.
The main objectives of Universal Service Fund (USF) are:
1- To bring the focus of telecom operators towards rural population and increase the level of telecom penetration significantly in the rural areas through effective and fair utilization of the fund.
2- To improve the Broadband penetration in the country.
3- To bring significant advances towards enhancement of e-services, both in rural as well as urban areas of the country.
Universal Service Fund (USF) finances spread of telecom services to previously un-served or under-served areas and makes it possible for licensed telecom operators to provide services to those areas, on normal commercial (read: competitive) terms. Telecom services include basic telephony, broadband internet, infrastructure for these services (like Optic Fibre) and Community Tele-centers (for those who cannot afford the necessary instruments/devices). Challenge before USF is to achieve the targets through an efficient and transparent competitive bidding process. Therefore, all disbursements of the fund are done through competitive bidding, encouraging full competition among telecom licensees.