Proposed 4-year federal budget includes US$7.8bn for ICT development

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Brazil's government will spend 12.7bn reais (US$7.8bn) through 2015 on ICT investments and projects, according to the four-year estimated federal budget delivered by the planning ministry for congressional review.

The total amount includes investments in national broadband plan PNBL and the deployment of fiber-optic cables under the charge of state-owned telecom Telebrás.

Also, as promised by President Dilma Rousseff, PNBL-designated investments have been bumped up to 7.1bn reais, from the original 3bn-real budget.

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ICT investments also include satellite launchings, a digital cities project, public TV channels, content and applications development, and the carrying out of a national digital TV network operator system.

Taking broadband connection to 40mn households through PNBL is listed as one of the 12 "macrochallenges" highlighted in the multi-year budget. These challenges include other major goals such as building 2mn homes for the low-income sector, lifting 12mn Brazilians from extreme poverty and offering 75,000 science and technology scholarships.

In the section concerning ICT investments - titled Communication for Development, Democracy and Inclusion - the budget also lists challenges and goals.

Besides the broadband target, government wants to set up public telephones in every public hospital and school; extend mobile telephony coverage to 91.5% of the population; deploy broadband connection to all rural-area schools; reach 100% of municipalities with, or above, 500,000 people with basic postal services; deploy 10 Mbps fixed and 4G mobile broadband internet to all 2013 Confederations Cup, 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games host cities; and increase to 70% the share of national industry in the telecommunications devices and equipments market.

Dubbed Plano Brasil Mais, the four-year budget forecasts a total of 5.4tn reais in expenses by 2015, up 38% from the previous budget period (2008-11).