Islamabad, Pakistan – The Internet Society (ISOC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with COMSATS Internet Services (CIS) to establish a pilot project under the Internet Society’s flagship Wireless for Communities (W4C) programme in Chak Faiz, a rural community in Multan, Pakistan
The Wireless for Communities Programme (W4C) provides Internet access to underserved rural areas using a community empowerment approach through Wi-Fi-based technologies. The programme provides training on content and services and helps maximise development opportunities using the Internet.
ISOC has been successfully implementing Wireless for Communities– which has won two international awards from Public Affairs Asia and ITU/MCMC—in South Asia for the past five years. With initiatives such as these, ISOC hopes to create model communities that serve as examples for the developmental role the Internet can play in society.
The pilot project in Pakistan will be located in ‘Chak Faiz,’ a rural community near Multan city in the Punjab province. The project includes deployment of a wireless network together with training for the community that will enable users to access the benefits of the Internet, providing them with opportunities for social development and inclusion.
Muhammad Amir Malik, CEO of COMSATS Internet Services (CIS) said, “COMSATS Internet Services has been involved with community building efforts through projects like our Tele-Health Network, and we are always looking for opportunities to use available resources to help empower the marginalised community. Our collaboration with ISOC for the Wireless for Communities programme will be a beneficial initiative to provide Internet services to the remote community in Chak Faiz. With such initiatives, we hope to create model communities that serve as examples for the developmental role the Internet can play in society. This programme will improve the lives of people in rural areas by offering online access and promoting e-services. It will hopefully contribute directly to an increased level of awareness concerning the benefits of ICTs and lead to ideas for more livelihood.”
Rajnesh Singh, Director of the Asia-Pacific Bureau of the Internet Society said “This project goes to the heart of our mission at ISOC, which is that the Internet is for everyone. We need to ensure that all communities, regardless of whether they are located urban or rural areas, can benefit from the Internet and all it can enable. We hope to demonstrate a community model in Pakistan that could be used to expand Internet access to rural and underserved areas across the country.”
COMSATS Internet Services (CIS) is an entity within Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS), established in October 1996 as a pioneer ISP in Pakistan and offers a variety of Internet access services ranging from website hosting, domain registration, software development, video conferencing, virtual private networks setup, datacenter facility, virtual private servers and broadband Internet connectivity through E-1, DSL, wireless links and optical fiber for corporate and residential users.
About Internet Society
The Internet Society is the trusted independent source for Internet information and thought leadership from around the world. It is also the organisational home for the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). With its principled vision and substantial technological foundation, the Internet Society promotes open dialogue on Internet policy, technology, and future development among users, companies, governments, and other organisations. Working with its members, Chapters and stakeholders around the world, the Internet Society enables the continued evolution and growth of the Internet for everyone.
Noelle de Guzman