Thursday, June 02, 2011

Broadband in Brazil will require U$$ 100. billion over the next 10 years

Telecommunications companies are required investment estimate of $ 100 billion over the next 10 years, to grant Brazil a level of internet coverage consistent with what currently exists in developed countries.
The amount is part of a study commissioned by the telcos and also recognized the need for public funds, tax relief and allowances so that the objective is reached. And yet, most Brazilians could get access to the network only through telecentres or Internet cafes.
In the "no levers, or with the natural development of the market, internet penetration in the country would jump over the next decade, the current 21 accesses per 100 inhabitants for 45 - considering there both fixed and mobile connections. With incentives, the index over the same period, would reach 74 per 100.
The relationship of these incentives included traditional calls from telcos, such as reducing the tax burden, the release of new spectrum bands - notably the 700 MHz and 2.5 GHz - new licenses and services. And, as already anticipated the SindiTelebrasil, advocates a "regulatory flexibility" and lower prices of the grants.
The list of "levers" also includes the direct participation of public resources, both in financial shape - with direct subsidies to particular groups or financing of access terminals and the use of sector funds - such as the use of infrastructure, ie access to private companies, for example, the fiber optic backbone that will be used in Telebras National Broadband Plan.
But even with increased investment and intense use of public incentives to telecom perspective is that something like a quarter of Brazilians continue without internet connection, except through public places, such as telecentres, Internet cafes or by that ensure collective access to low prices.
The government, whom the study is addressed, to accept the assumptions and discuss some proposals there included. But, according to Communications Minister Paulo Bernardo, companies should not rely on public resources, especially when there's still a great performance space has not been occupied by private enterprise.
"The market can not simply look to the government and ask for money because we will not give. At some point we may have to discuss some form of subsidy or measures of universal coverage, but if the market perceives itself that can meet 75% can not be satisfied by 25%. Need to change the policy of charging very few attend, "said the minister.
Within the telecommunications industry itself to the study commissioned LCA has been viewed with some caution. Executives at TIM, for example, questioned the presentation of a work that at no time deepens issues concerning infrastructure, when one of the main barriers to Internet market is due to the large concentration of networks in the hands of a few companies.
In fact, despite the fixed telephony operators control most of the data infrastructure of the country, the study makes no mention of sharing these networks as a way to increase competition and therefore the offer. In fact, the only mention of sharing occurs in the other direction, ie the use of public networks for private companies.

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