Internet in Brazil

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The Internet in Brazil was launched in 1988. In 2011 Brazil ranked fifth in the world with nearly 89 million Internet users, 45% of the population.[1] In 2010 Brazil ranked 9th in the world with 13,266,310 fixed broadband subscriptions, 6.8 per 100 residents.[2]


In 1988 the National Research Network (RNP), was formed by the academic communities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.[3] Since its beginnings, including its introduction to the general public in 1995, the Brazilian Internet depended strongly on efforts led by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Communications, the state-owned communications company Embratel and its holding, Telebras.[4]

This changed in 1998, as a result of the privatization of Telebras, and the blossoming of private companies, such as Telefónica, Telemar and Brasil Telecom. With the surge of competition for customers, coupled with government-imposed requirements, came improvements in cost, quality, and availability of the Internet to Brazilians.[citation needed]

ADSL was successful in Brazil during beta testing and became popular in 2000, being offered by Telefónica (Speedy), Brasil Telecom (Turbo), NET (Virtua), and Telemar (Velox) with typical speeds of around 256 kbit/s down and 128 kbit/s up. Speeds are now between 15 and 1 Mbit/s down and up and 35 and 3 Mbit/s down and up, but speeds over 50 and 5 Mbit/s down and up and 100 and 20 Mbit/s down and up are becoming more common as prices fall and new ISPs such as Global Village Telecom invest in VDSL2 and FTTH in the larger cities. Broadband access is split between ADSL, cable modem, satellite, VDSL, VDSL2, FTTH, and wireless Internet service providers (often called 'radio internet'), with the first WiFi services appearing in 2004.[5].

During the first decade of the 21st century, limited availability of high-speed Internet in Brazil was a major problem, especially in rural regions. Accordingly, the Brazilian government pressured providers to broaden supply in outlying areas.[6] Wireless LAN ISPs are becoming more common in the interior of the country. In large cities some WiFi hotspots are also available.[citation needed]

By November 2005, some cable companies were offering 2, 4, and 8 Mbit/s access for the same price as 512 kbit/s ADSL connections.[citation needed]

In April 2008 the Broadband in Schools program was launched to benefit 37 million students by bringing high speed Internet access to 64,879 urban public schools by the end of 2010.[7]

In 2009 a lack of sufficient infrastructure for the Telefônica (Speedy) ISP led to periodic service failures in some areas. Sales were suspended by the Brazilian Agency of Telecommunications (ANATEL) until a process of major infrastructure expansion and rejuvenation is completed.[citation needed]

In 2010, broadband Internet access was available in 88% of Brazilian cities, surpassing all expectations for its expansion.[8] By 2016, it is expected that the Internet will have 57% of penetration in Brazil [9]; by 2017 this value has risen to 64,7%[10].

In 2016 and 2017, major internet providers announced their interest in introducing data caps, a decision that was met with major backlash; for the time being, the Brazilian Agency of Telecommunications has not allowed this and "does not plan to reopen the debate on fixed broadband caps" [11]


Brazil uses the .br top level domain, which is managed by the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee.[12] In 2011 Brazil ranked fourth in the world with 23,456,00 Internet hosts.[13] In April 2012 Brazil was 10th in the world with 48,572,160 IPv4 addresses allocated, 23.6 per 100 residents.[14]

The Internet is a popular medium for citizen–government interaction. For example, 99% of all income tax forms are delivered online.[15] Correios agencies and government-controlled telepontos are used as access points, and are specially relevant in remote locations. LAN centers, known by the anglicised name LAN House, are common and widespread throughout the country.[16]

Some of the most popular websites are web portals, such as, UOL and iG; search engines, including Google and Yahoo; and social network services, the most important of which, by far, is Facebook.[17] Due to the popularity of virtual communications, Newsweek referred to Brazil as the "Schmooze Nation".[18]

Fiber to the premises[edit]

  • Telefónica launched, in São Paulo, its FTTH service in 3Q 2007 with initial speeds of 30, 60, and 100 Mbit/s downstream, and 5 Mbit/s upstream. Also available is an IPTV on-demand service and a convergent POTS and mobile pack. In June 2007 Telefónica was reported to have fibre coverage of a potential 400,000 households with 20,000 signed up for service. By the end of 2011, Telefónica plannied to increase coverage to roughly one million households and boost its FTTH user base to 70,000, with a long term plan to have one million fibre customers before 2015.[19]
  • The second provider to offer FTTH is Brasil Telecom (bought by Oi Telecomunicações in January 2009), offering speeds up to 100 Mbit/s downstream and 5 Mbit/s upstream. The service is now marketed in ten states. Oi is now offering its own FTTH operation, in its original service area, completing the Brasil Telecom operation. Oi planned to finish 2011 with 30,000 households connected to its FTTH network.[20]
  • Global Village Telecom (GVT) launched, in August 2009, FTTH service in 56 cities, including the major markets of Porto Alegre, Curitiba, Belo Horizonte, and Salvador. GVT offer speeds up to 100 Mbit/s downstream and 10 Mbit/s upstream. In October 2010 GVT reported a broadband subscriber base of one million users, around 60% of whom are hooked up to 10Mbit/s or higher Internet connection.[21]
  • Many smaller ISPs are deploying FTTH service on small and medium cities.[22]

Network neutrality[edit]

The Brazilian Civil Rights Framework for the Internet (in Portuguese: Marco Civil da Internet, officially Law No 12.965) became law on April 23, 2014 at the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance. It governs the use of the Internet in Brazil, through forecasting principles, guarantees, rights and duties to those who use the network as well as the determination of guidelines for state action.[23][24]

Brazilian Internet phenomenon[edit]

The Brazilian Internet phenomenon is the massive adoption by Brazilians of an Internet service, exceeding the number of other nationalities using the service. A possible reason for this is shown on a recently an IBOPE/NetRatings study that revealed that they overtook the U.S. in terms of time surfing on the internet and, as of 2004, were the people who spent the most time on the internet.[25] This influx coincides with online aggression.[26]

This phenomenon was clearly observed in 2003 on (now, when the number of Brazilians exceeded the number of users of all the other countries combined. The potential of the market of digital cameras was noticed as a result of this mania. Recently, such phenomenon happened with extreme rapidity in Google's social networking site Orkut. However, since it is common to find a person with multiple social network profiles, blogs and flogs or even fake registrations in these, statistics about which country has the most users may not always be reliable. On the other hand, a rumor (denied by Google) spread in Brazil claimed that Orkut users declaring themselves as being from this country could receive inferior services, leading many to register themselves as inhabitants of other countries. Thus, the percentage of Brazilians on these websites might be even higher.

Brazil is also home to the highest number of MSN Messenger users, an instant messaging program that is very popular among teenagers.[27] They have always adopted in great numbers such services as ICQ, IRC (BRASnet being one of the biggest IRC networks in the world), Gmail, Skype, Blogspot (recently Blogger released a service located in Brazil), and some defunct services like The Palace, Gooey and PowWow (chat program).

This probably explains why MSN Brasil and Yahoo! Brasil are relatively popular, and may have contributed to AOL's failure in the Brazilian market, while UOL ranks highly in Alexa.[28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Percentage of Individuals using the Internet 2000-2011, International Telecommunication Union, accessed on 19 August 2012.
  2. ^ Fixed broadband subscriptions, International Telecommunication Union. Accessed on 8 April 2012.
  3. ^ "Introdução à Internet" (Introduction to the Internet), HOTlink Informática Ltda., accessed 25 September 2012. (English translation)
  4. ^ A Trajetória da Internet no Brasil: do surgimento das redes de computadores à instituição dos mecanismos de governança (The Trajectory of the Internet in Brazil: The emergence of computer networks for government institutions), Marcelo Sávio Revoredo Menezes de Carvalho, Masters dissertation, Coppe/Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, September 2006.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Governo prepara plano nacional para banda larga" (Government prepares national plan for broadband), Julio Wiziack, Folha de S.Paulo, 28 August 2009. (English translation)
  7. ^ "Broadband internet will soon be installed in all urban public schools", Jorge Wamburg, English translation by Allen Bennett, Agencia Brasil, 6 April 2010
  8. ^ "Banda larga chega a 88% dos municípios no Brasil, diz Anatel" (Broadband reaches 88% of municipalities in Brazil, Anatel says), Folha de S.Paulo, 13 January 2010
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Brasil tem 116 milhões de pessoas conectadas à internet, diz IBGE". G1 (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  11. ^ "Anatel diz que não pretende reabrir debate sobre limite na banda larga fixa"
  12. ^ "Services" Archived 2012-07-22 at the Wayback Machine, Brazilian Internet Steering Committee (, accessed 25 September 2012
  13. ^ "Internet hosts", CIA World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, accessed 2 April 2012
  14. ^ Select Formats Archived 2009-05-13 at the Wayback Machine, Country IP Blocks. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Site is said to be updated daily.
  15. ^ "Veja as desvantagens de fazer a declaração do IR em papel" (See the disadvantages of doing tax returns on paper), Ligia Guimarães,, 3 April 2009. (English translation)
  16. ^ "PC popular e LAN houses conduzem inclusão digital em 2007, aponta" (PC and popular Internet cafes in 2007 leading digital inclusion, pointing Archived 2008-07-20 at the Wayback Machine, Guilherme Felitti, IDG News Service, 14 March 2008
  17. ^ "Top Sites in Brazil", Alexa
  18. ^ "Schmooze Nation", Newsweek, 18 September 2007
  19. ^ "Telefonica expands Brazilian FTTH coverage", TeleGeography, 27 Jun 2011
  20. ^ "Brazil’s Oi makes a net profit in Q4" Archived 2013-07-03 at the Wayback Machine, EMAT-ELEVATE in Latin America, 8 March 2011
  21. ^ "Global Village Telecom boasts one million broadband users", TeleGeography, 12 October 2010
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Brazil passes groundbreaking Internet governance Bill", Angelica Mari, ZDNet, 26 March 2014.
  24. ^ "The Brazilian Civil Rights Framework for the Internet", Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV), 9 May 2014.
  25. ^ [1]
  26. ^ FRAGOSO, Suely, WTF a Crazy Brazilian Invasion. In: ESS, Charles ; SUDWEEKS,Fay ; HRACHOVEC, Herbert (orgs) ;CATaC 2006 - Fifth International Conference onCultural Attitudes Towards Technology and Communication, 2006, Tartu. Estonia.School of Information Technology - Murdoch University, 2006. v. 1. p. 255-274
  27. ^ Staff writer (2008-02-26). "Usuários brasileiros enfrentam problemas para acessar MSN" (in Portuguese). IDG Now!. Archived from the original on 2008-03-02. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
  28. ^ UOL rank in Alexa

External links[edit]