Nearly one in five (18%) of Brazil's 5,570 municipalities had some sort of smart city plan or project in place at the end of 2017, according to the latest ICT e-government study, carried out by the country's internet steering committee CGI.br.
At 77% and 70% respectively, the adoption level was higher among state capitals and municipalities with 500,000 inhabitants or more.
Among the projects are electronic ticketing solutions for public transportation (81% of the projects), remote control of traffic lights (69%), GPS bus control (58%) and flood sensors (50%).
The government plans to digitize 850 of public federal services by 2019. Currently, only 38 of services provided by the federal administration are fully digital and another 77 are in the process of being so.
A survey conducted at the federal administration identified 1,740 services, of which 1,193 are not yet digital.
The data were presented at a press conference in Brasilia and broadcasted on the internet.
"We are the fourth country in the world with internet presence, but according to the UN we are more or less in the 40th place in e-government index. We want to increase some positions by 2019 and become a leader in Latin America," said Luis Felipe Monteiro, secretary of information and communication technology at the planning ministry.
On the occasion, Marcos Bonturi, the OECD director for public governance, said that the Brazilian government should go beyond efforts focused on digitizing documents, such as paperless government.
"It is key to use data and technology to create more open, innovative and inclusive services and processes. We are only at the beginning of digital transformation in the world," said Bonturi.
Thiago Camargo, digital policies secretary at the Brazilian ICT and innovation ministry, supported the idea that the country should move towards having a single website, in zero rating, with all the services, from all agencies, available in the cloud for citizens.
The study also found that almost all state and federal public bodies have websites (90%), although just some 25% of state agencies offer service to citizens through the internet. Among federal agencies, this rate reaches 44%.
Furthermore, three out of four federal and state public bodies (77%) and city administrations (75%) in Brazil have their own profiles on online social networks.
The research also pointed out that the adoption of faster internet speeds, via cable or fiber, significantly increased in relation to the previous survey.
According to CGI.br, 83% of the municipalities reported having internet access via fixed infra, up from 69% in 2015. The rest of the connections are made via radio.
The data also show that 44% of municipalities were connected via xDSL access (compared to 40% in 2015), 25% with 3G/4G networks (down from 27%) and 13% with satellite (up from 11%).
The study's full results in Portuguese can be accessed here.