Brazil’s Ministry of Communications (Ministerio das Comunicacoes, MiniCom) has initiated the next phase of its National Broadband Programme (Programa Nacional de Banda Larga, PNBL). By the end of 2019 the government aims to increase the number of municipalities covered by fibre-optic technology from 52% of the country to 70%; the latter footprint will support coverage of 95% of the population, MiniCom notes. Other facets of the PNBL will see 72Mbps downstream connectivity extended to around 30,000 schools, with investment also channelled into 5G research and development (R&D) and the Internet of Things (IoT) sector. MiniCom itself has pledged to contribute BRL400 million (USD115 million) to the fibre rollout, with additional funding supplied by regional operators. The total investment is expected to reach BRL2.5 billion by end-2019.