The Brazilian government recently announced that they will be offering “software-as-a-service” (Saas) to 80 municipalities. This is part of the Cidades Digitais (Digital Cities) program. In addition, and especially noteworthy, the program is also intended to offer free internet to cities with over 50,000 city dwellers.

The program was created by the Federal Data Processing Service (SERPRO), and is aimed at offering better public services to Brazilians. SERPRO spent over R$ 8mi (U.S. $3 mil) in order to assume ownership over the services. Expenditures included the purchasing of 3 data-centers.

This is a rather new and exciting intiative, especially the offering of free internet to those in bigger cities.

This brings us back to an earlier question I asked about the internet being a human right (that was in the context of the bloody and on-going civil war in Syria). But I wonder in this case if the Brazilian government was motivated to offer free internet because those behind the program believe it is a human right. Is that the case?

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