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One of the most important advances of the National Communications Conference (Confecom), was the decision to make access to broadband Internet is one of the fundamental rights of the people, as well as the establishment of this service in the public realm, as a way to guarantee the universalization, continuity and regulation of prices. This proposal gave birth to the National Broadband Program (PNBL), coordinated by the Ministry of Communications.
Telebras, an agency almost extinguished by the political opposition during the FHC administration, was reactivated and returned to play a central role in the structuring of communications in Brazil, especially with regard to the Internet.
To provide internet access at higher speeds and lower cost the Federal Government is developing the first project for a cabo submarino estatal, (State Undersea Cable) to provide a data connection between Brazil and Europe. There are five cables of thie type currently in operation, four linking Brazil to the Untied States and one with Europe. All of these, however are owned by companies in the private sector.
The Cable, that will link Fortaleza and Lisbon, will be 6000 km long and offer speeds 700 times greater than the current connection. The total investment in the project, which will be done by Telebras in partnership with private sector companies, will cost US$ 185 million.5 milhões.
Telebras will also be responsible for the construction, in partnership with Embraer, of the Geostationary Satellite for Defense and Strategic Communications (Satélite Geoestacionário de Defesa e Comunicações Estratégicas (SGDC)). The companies will create a joint venture for the initiative, Visiona, and R$ 1.3 billion will be invested in the construction of the Brazilian satellite.
The construction of a Brazilian satellite for civilian and military communications represents a strategic step toward the guarantee of national sovereignty. Today, Brazil only has equipment controlled by stations outside of Brazil or controlled by foreign-owned companies.
The satellite will contribute, further, to the supply of broadband Internet two municipalities that do not have a ground-based fiber optic cable network installed, or whose conditions for access are difficult. Today it is estimated that 2000 municipalities are in the situation and could be benefited by the new satellite system (SGDC).
The Lula and Dilma administrations promoted the accelerated expansion of the Telebras fiber optic network, using the available structure of the company and partnerships with state companies (Eletrobras, Eletronorte, Chesf, Petrobras), states, municipalities and the private sector.
According to Telebras, at the end of 2013, the fiber optic network of the company totaled 16,700 km. And in the first half of 2014, the network and operation exceeded 18,200 km. An additional 10,500, are in the process of implementation, which will raise the total to 28,700 km of infrastructure an operation, linking all regions of the country – from the East to the West, from the North to the South.
Given the new realities generated above all by the National Broadband Plan, in February 2014 Brazil at 140 million accesses to the Internet via the broadband, according to data released by the private sector.
In addition to this progress, the Lula and Dilma administrations promoted the ease of Internet access in public spaces and collective agencies such as schools, libraries, hospitals, public squares, airports and lan houses. The Federal Government in 2012 created the Digital Cities program Cidades Digitais, which already provides benefits to more than 300 municipalities throughout Brazil.