The country participated in a debate on building a more connected world at an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) event.
April 27, Sao Paulo: Brazil occupies the 3rd world position in the daily use of the internet, with 78.3% of the population online. More than 4,500 municipalities are connected by optical fibres to national networks. The data are from the Ministry of Communications. The subject was the subject of a webinar promoted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which included the participation of Brazil and three other countries: Mexico, South Korea and Spain.
The events main objective was to discuss public policies for the construction of a more connected world. The subject has been gaining momentum in this moment of social distance due to Covid-19 when people are using the internet more.
In February of this year, Brazil adopted an OECD recommendation on Broadband Connectivity, which aims to expand connectivity and improve the quality of broadband networks in the world.
The recommendation on Broadband Connectivity is structured around five pillars. They are: to stimulate competition, investment and innovation in the development of broadband; actions to eliminate digital inequalities and reduce barriers to the deployment of broadband; measures to ensure reliable, secure and high capacity networks; minimize the negative environmental impacts of communication networks; and regularly evaluate broadband markets.
The executive secretary of the Ministry of Communications, Vitor Menezes, who represented Brazil at the event, tells a little about the meeting in an interview.
What does it mean for Brazil to participate in these OECD events?
It is important for Brazil to participate in these OECD ceremonies. Brazil is a very active member of the OECD. And, in this special recommendation called Connectivity for All, Brazil was the only non-OECD country to join. It is important because it shows the alignment of the country with the public policies adopted by the richest countries in the world and also shows that Brazil is able to make this adhesion, mainly in the technology part, in the communications part, where we are already, let's go so to say, adhering to most of the recommendations that the OECD has issued so far.
What are the public policies of the Federal Government to bring connectivity to the population?
The Ministry of Communications has developed a series of public policies to ensure connectivity for all Brazilians. We can talk today about the Wi-Fi Brazil program, in which we put public internet access points in various locations. We have also placed them in squares, in community centres. And we have also used our Brazilian satellite to put the internet in rural schools and in places where other means are not going to arrive so easily. Other than that, we have put in place public policies that establish coverage commitments for the bidding documents prepared by Anatel, for example, recently, we established the public policy for the 5G auction. There it is established that Anatel must use the proceeds of the auction to bring connectivity to places where it is not yet available. For example, localities that are the districts that are not the headquarters of the municipalities, federal highways. We have also placed infrastructure obligations, such as, for example, the optical fibre in cities that do not yet have a fibre backroll. Connectivity for the North region, in short, is a series of public policies that we have adopted here in the ministry that will bring connectivity to people who are disconnected.
What about the Telecommunications Services Universalization Fund? How will it help to connect Brazil?
Another public policy that I consider important is the recent approval of the law that changed the rules of the Fund for the Universalization of Telecommunications Services. This law allows Brazil to use part of the resources that are collected in this Fund to connect people who are in a situation that certainly would not receive another means of communication. So, for example, we can use the Fund's resources to connect rural areas in Brazil. So, with that, we hope that soon, Brazil can end the digital desert, and we can be a Brazil 100% connected.
Learn more about 5G in Brazil
The 5G notice, recently approved by the National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel), is being analyzed by the Federal Court of Accounts (TCU). The forecast is that the auction of radio frequency bands for the provision of telecommunications services in Brazil by means of 5G, the fifth generation of mobile communication technology, will take place this year.
The new technology promises higher speeds than 4G and greater connectivity between machines and sensors installed in factories and industries. 5G will also enable the digital transformation of the economy.
The frequencies of 700 MHz, 2.3 GHz, 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz will be offered at the 5G auction. They provide a greater volume of spectrum resources so that providers can expand networks across the country.
The proposal approved by Anatel also establishes investment commitments for coverage that oblige the winning companies in the auction to serve with 4G technology or higher in areas that are poorly or not served, with more than 600 inhabitants, such as localities and roads. For municipalities with more than 30 thousand inhabitants, according to Anatel, service commitments are already foreseen with 5G technology.
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