Accessibility for the Brazilians

Embratel logo In Brazil, the government owns the Internet communication system EMBRATEL. This system is considered a monopoly that wants to allow Internet access to only academic researchers. Yet, there is the Brazilian Institute of Social and Economic Analyses (IBASE) which strives to make the Internet accessible to all people.
APC logo IBASE, a non-government organization, began in 1989 to democratize social and economic information during the military dictatorship. Now, achieving this goal requires accessibility to the Internet for all Brazilians. IBASE is able to offer the accessibility through the Association for Progressive Communications, a group the concentrates on the "community of grass-roots groups such as human rights and environmental organizations, labor unions ... as well as individuals who share principles of democracy and social justice of APC."(Afonso, p.62)

The APC ensures local, low-cost electronic mail systems with international outreach by dialing through the Institute for Global Communications, a San Francisco-based organization "dedicated to democratize computer networking."(Ibid., p.67) Through this organization, communicating globally requires fewer long-distance charges which make the Internet more accessible to the average Brazilian.

Accessibility to a server is also a hurdle to overcome in Brazil. IBASE hopes to develop community access centers where users who cannot afford their own computer can have an electronic mail address on the Internet.

In a country where owning a home computer is the privilege of a small percentage of families, not to speak of having a phone line at home, initiative such as these might help to effectively democratize access to basic network services.(Ibid, p.68)