Lula returns to govern Brazil. On January 1, he will have to command the destinies of a country that, as is happening in the world, is too divided and, therefore, one of his first pronouncements was that he will govern for the entire country. While the analyzes continue without failing to review recent history, in the field of telecommunications, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has already been welcomed by the companies in the sector. However, his new management will have to face challenges such as continuing with a 5G policy that is very well seen in the region, in addition to continuing to work to reduce the digital divide and direct school connectivity.
Conexis Brasil, the chamber that brings together the main telecommunications operators in that country such as Claro, TIM, Vivo, Algar and Sercomtel, among others, welcomed Lula through a press release, and stated that the tax reform and investment incentives are proposed as two of the axes on which the future management will have to work. The letter, which bears the signature of Marcos Ferrari, president of Conexis Brasil Digital, was presented within the framework of a proposal aimed at the new government’s agenda promoting digital inclusion, exempting 5G deployments from paying taxes – promptly of the PIS/Confins that finances the Social Integration Program and the Contribution for the Financing of Social Security – and that a Secretariat for Digital Transformation be created, directly linked to the Presidency of the Republic.
Ferrari recalled the proposals made by Conexis for a Brazil + Digital that also include regulatory simplification and isonomy -or equality before the Law- in view of the new balance of the digital ecosystem with the incentive for self-regulation in the sector. It is a 16-page document, which can be downloaded from herewhich is also accompanied by another paper longer, 48 pages, detailing the evolution and contribution of the telecommunications sector in the last 15 years. Just to mention one fact, it details that investments have exceeded 200 trillion dollars (1,109 trillion reais) from 1998 to the present. Among the proposals is the need -once again- to move forward with municipal harmonization for the installation of antennas, in addition to effectively applying Law 13,116/15.
For its part, the Federation of Call Centers, Installation and Maintenance of Infrastructure of Telecommunications and Computer Networks (FENINFRA), also congratulated Lula and asked for incentives to continue with the implementation of 5G whose schedule, until now, has been fulfilled in a timely manner, and according to data from the sector, the number of antennas installed in Brazilian capitals exceeded the minimum required by the regulator.
And in this sense, Vivien Mello Suruagy, president of Feninfra, expressed himself, who pointed out that “the Federation hopes that the candidate who returns to the presidency will continue to promote the development of the telecommunications sector, especially in the implementation of 5G technology, as happened in the current administration. AND encourage digital connectivity, especially in the poorest regions of the country. For this to happen in its entirety, strong investments in infrastructure are needed, which will require a reduction in the tax burden on services in the sector. The Federation also hopes that the elected government, together with the National Congress, will lead the reforms so necessary for the development of Brazil”, says Suruagy.
The pronouncements of both entities also come at a time when the Brazilian Ministry of Communications (MinCom) called on the satellite industry to connect schools to the public network, a project that will be led by the National Research and Teaching Network. (RNP) that requires “desirable” speeds of 120 Mbps for downloads and 20 Mbps for uploads, with minimum acceptance of 20 Mbps for downloads and 4 Mbps for uploads. These are demands that, at least until now, could only be fulfilled by Starlink, SpaceX’s satellite constellation, Elon Musk’s company, and that leaves out other operators such as Viasat and Hughes. Of course, it must be taken into account that the call also indicates that there will be preference for those operators that provide fiber optic connectivity, which shows that the issue is on the agenda and that, due to the existing needs in educational matters, it will have to be addressed with priority. .
Parallel to this situation, a group of municipalities in Rio de Janeiro wants to define their own school connectivity policies with the aim of democratizing Internet access. In a workshop on public and social policies for Internet access held last week, it was announced that a chamber would be formed to discuss actions aimed at creating projects whose focus is to democratize Internet access. There, the need to form ecosystems with local providers was raised to promote the agile development of community networks that allow connectivity to be brought to small towns based on the commitment of their own inhabitants.
School connectivity is also part of the proposals of business entities. In fact, in Conexis, there is the need to create a school digitization policy that extends for 30 years.
As can be seen, the need for connectivity, to improve quality and to reduce the digital divide in these two ways is an issue on the sector’s agenda and, based on the expectations that the new Lula government is generating in his country, the telecommunications industry also seeks to have priority..