Plan finalized to transform optical fiber cable network into global digital gateway: Dr Saif

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ISLAMABAD, Caretaker Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Dr Umar Saif on Wednesday said that the government had finalized a plan to transform Pakistan’s optical fiber cable network into a global digital gateway.

The implementation of the proposed project would benefit Pakistan by millions of dollars, he disclosed while speaking in a high-level meeting.

The meeting was attended by representatives of key organizations, including Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Special Communication Organization, Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd (PTCL), TransWorld, and CyberNet.

He said that all the necessary resources and facilities had been provided for the digital gateway initiative.

Dr Saif said that the existing optical fiber cable infrastructure, existing from Karachi to Gwadar, could be connected to global marine cables. It would facilitate digital access to regions spanning the Middle East, Central Asia, China, and Europe at competitive rates, he added.

The minister said that the Special Investment Facilitation Council platform would also be helpful in the project.

He informed about the ongoing discussions with global entities such as Google and Meta, indicating that soon Pakistanis would hear about positive developments regarding global network connectivity.

At present, Pakistan has nearly 180,000 kilometers of fiber optic cable and 6,000 mobile towers. With ongoing projects aiming to increase the installation of optical fiber cables to 300,000 kilometers and 20,000 mobile towers, the expansion is poised to enhance connectivity, providing consumers with improved Internet services.