Brazil postpones unveiling of national broadband plan until February

8 Jan 2010

The unveiling of Brazil’s national broadband programme to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been pushed back until early next month, says Cezar Alvarez, the federal government’s digital inclusion coordinator, as quoted by the Agencia Estado newspaper. The plan is designed to facilitate the widespread rollout of high speed internet access services across the country. A previous meeting to present the plan to ‘Lulu’ was postponed in December 2009 with officials saying they were struggling on how best to amalgamate proposals into a single document. Two strategies are on the table: the first, favoured by the planning ministry’s logistics and IT secretary Rogerio Santanna, calls for the government to compete with telecoms companies; while a rival plan, championed by the communications minister Helio Costa, prefers for the government to form partnerships with private sector companies. The plan aims to realise 90 million broadband connections by 2014, reaching half of Brazilian homes, and could cost USD43.1 billion to achieve – two-thirds of which will come from the private sector.