From the publication of the Provisional Measure nº 1.077 In the Official Gazette of the Union, on Wednesday, 12/8, the Internet Brazil Program was instituted, which will have initial investments of around R$ 140 million, to provide free mobile broadband internet access to public school students, with families registered in the Federal Government's Single Registry. RNP will be executing the pilot project, in partnership with the Ministry of Education (MEC) and the Ministry of Communications (MCom). The Program provides for the distribution and maintenance of around 700,000 chips and the expectation is that they will be distributed at the beginning of the school year, in 2022.
Four axes will guide Internet Brazil's action: expanding Internet access and digital inclusion for families of basic education students; access to digital educational resources, including those made available by the public school system; the participation of students in non-face-to-face pedagogical activities; and support for public policies that require connectivity for their implementation, including digital government actions.
" The edition of the PM comes to meet an urgent need and give the Federal Government a mechanism that can reduce the adverse effects resulting from social distancing measures. "
Fábio Faria, communications minister
HYBRID EDUCATION – The Program will be implemented gradually, according to budgetary and financial availability, technical requirements for offering the service and other provisions established by the MCom. The policy's focus is to enable connectivity and access to digital resources, given the materiality of blended learning – despite its emergency nature, the portfolio's purpose is to establish the program on a permanent basis. When starting the implementation of Internet Brazil in the cities of the Nordeste Conectado Program, it will be possible to deepen the process of digital transformation in the locations, complement the connectivity that is already provided to schools and take advantage of the management and institutional dialogue structures, which were sown within the scope of the program, to accelerate the implementation of Internet Brazil.
The pilot project provides for the distribution and maintenance of around 700 thousand chips, with mobile broadband packages available throughout 2022. The chip does not have mobile telephony services and, at this first moment, there will be no distribution of access devices, such as telephones or modems. It is also up to the MCom to define the technical characteristics and the way in which the broadband internet access service is made available. The Ministry is also responsible for monitoring and evaluating the expected results, in order to ensure transparency in the dissemination of information.
CONNECTED STUDENTS – Internet Brazil keeps references to the Connected Students project, run by MEC, which has provided free Internet to students in situations of socioeconomic vulnerability at 101 universities and federal institutes, through the availability of more than 160,000 chips. The action provides continuity of studies throughout the period of social distance. The project makes an important contribution to the democratization of access to education, to boosting digital inclusion and to reducing inequalities in access to technologies. But the initiative is aimed at students from federal institutions of technical and higher education. The focus of Internet Brazil is aimed at serving basic education students in the public school system, mostly in municipal and state institutions.
Based on PNAD ICT 2019 data, the percentage of students aged 10 years and over with Internet access grew from 86.6% in 2018 to 88.1% in 2019. Based on the survey, there are still about 4.3 million students to be connected, the majority being represented by students from public schools (95.9%). However, part of this percentage of young people with access is made up of students with occasional restrictions, such as sharing chips or payment difficulties, who are recurrently limited in access. Potentially, the expansion of Internet access that the program will provide is intended for all 22 million students. The lack of connection prevents access to educational resources available in digital format, such as distance learning educational platforms, preventing participation in non-face-to-face pedagogical activities.
With information from the Ministry of Communications (MCom)