The Brazilian government is currently discussing a new proposal by telecommunications providers like Comcast and AT&T about whether to set limits or “caps” on access and data usage or charge more to users that go beyond a certain amount of data.
Brazil’s FCC, named ANATEL, has challenged the legality of this plan, as it would conflict with regulations that ensure universality, fair access and network neutrality, including the Marco Civil da Internet or Brazilian Internet Bill of Rights, recently passed in 2014.
Jackson School Alum Daniel Arnaudo (MAIS, 2014), a specialist in Internet governance, lives in Rio and was recently interviewed by Brazil’s CNN, or Globo News, to comment on the proposed policy.
Below is a transcript from the interview:
REPORTER: This system of limited internet and set data plans exists there and other countries as well, and how do the consumers receive this system there?
ARNAUDO: Good afternoon, no these systems are not popular in the U.S. as well, these limits of bandwidth are always in conflict with consumers, and also the American government, the American version of Anatel (FCC) has problems with this system. The idea of net neutrality, the idea that people should access the internet without limits is popular with citizens in the US and here. And you have the Marco Civil da Internet in Brazil, and also in the US we have rules that create rights to net neutrality, also the idea of net neutrality creates ability for people to access the internet, to use for innovation and other things, without limits.
REPORTER: This specialist from the U.S. says that this model exists there as well, but the companies that do have to lower their prices to attract clients.
ARNAUDO: These companies that use limits are always the enemies of consumers. But also we have companies that are open, without limits. These systems, models and companies are always more popular with consumers.
Click here to watch the interview on the Brazilian TV news website.
Dan Arnaudo is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Washington’s Center for Global Studies working on TASCHA’s Information Strategies for Societies in Transition project in Myanmar. His research focuses on Internet governance, cybersecurity, and information and communication technologies for development (ICT4D).
He earned a master’s of science in Information Management and a master’s of arts International Studies at UW, and completed a thesis called “Brazil’s Emerging Roadmap for Internet Governance.”
In 2015, he was a Global Fellow at the Institute for Technology and Society in Rio de Janeiro.