Brazil to scale back goals for broadband program - source

viernes 12 de junio de 2015 15:03 GYT
 

SAO PAULO, June 12 (Reuters) - The Brazilian government plans to break President Dilma Rousseff's campaign promise last year to bring high velocity broadband service to 45 percent of the homes in the country by 2018, a source in the government said.

The official, who asked to remain unnamed as the plan had not been formally announced yet, said the government needed to adjust its spending and goals to bring them in line with market expectations over Brazil's public accounts.

Only 10 percent of homes here have highspeed broadband of 25 megabits per second (Mbps).

"We are restructuring the dimension (of the program) and the time frame (of the investments) to fit the budget," the source said on Thursday.

Initial estimates of the government were for investments of 50 billion reais ($16 billion), a figure that representatives of the telecommunications industry had considered high.

The source said the 45 percent goal would likely be lowered because of the limited budget for the program, but refrained from giving further details as officials were still in talks over the size of the cuts.

Brazil is in the midst of a severe fiscal austerity push, led by Rousseff's hawkish finance minister, Joaquim Levy, who has been tasked with keeping Brazil from losing its investment-grade status by curbing the government's rampant spending.

The program was expected to be launched in May but is now expected to come out in October at the earliest, the source said.

The Communications Ministry said it would be released early in the second half of 2015 without giving a specific month and denied that the goals of the program would be reduced. (Reporting by Luciana Bruno; Writing by Reese Ewing; Editing by Richard Chang)