Universal Access Policy

Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT)

Afghanistan Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ATRA)

Universal Access Policy Document Rural Telecommunications

Development in Afghanistan

30 Mizan 1387 (22 October 2008)

 1. Introduction 

Afghanistan began its telecommunications reconstruction program in 2002 and started putting a new national telecommunications infrastructure in place. At that time, Afghanistan had no telecommunications and no Internet. The Minister of Communications set in motion a strategy to use information and communications technologies as essential elements to stimulate economic activity in all sectors.

The goal of the Government’s Telecommunications Policy is to enable the rapid growth of affordable communications to all Afghans, whoever they may be and wherever they may be located in the country.

Currently, in addition to the incumbent Afghan Telecom, four cellular companies, several fixed local service providers, and about 17 Internet service providers operate in Afghanistan. Fixed telephone density has reached approximately 3 lines per 1000 inhabitants, and cellular penetration has reached over 20 subscribers per 100 inhabitants. However, this development has occurred primarily in cities, while most rural areas continue without adequate telecommunications facilities.

The Telecommunications Services Regulation Law of Afghan, promulgated in December 2005, states that the Afghanistan Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ATRA) shall establish access to telecommunications services and shall ensure its availability. More>>