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Program to take broadband services to 95% of Brazilians by 2018

Communications Minister Ricardo Berzoini said Tuesday (May 12) that the new stage of the Broadband for All (Banda Larga para Todos) program aims to ensure access to broadband services for 95% of the population by 2018.

By then, the number of broadband connections is estimated to have totaled 300 million. But in order to achieve that goal, the government must create conditions to mitigate the cost of the service, including in remote communities.

“The Armed Forces have (conducted) a study (to set up) submerged fiber-optic cables under all Amazon rivers. Wiring up through forest is something huge. So it’s just faster to use the rivers instead,” the minister said during a Senate hearing. According to him, the project will cost between $2 billion and $2.6 billion.

“For locations without fiber coverage, we’re planning to use satellites. Next year we’ll be launching a military communication satellite that will help take Internet coverage to places where fiber is not available,” Berzoini said. He pointed out that continually changing technologies make telecom services costly, and advocated a special approach to the sector even amid an austerity scenario.

Translated by Mayra Borges

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