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Project releases the use of funds to guarantee Internet access to Bolsa Família beneficiaries

Published by Senado Notícias in 13/08/2021

The closing of schools during the pandemic has widened the gap in education. While private school students continued to attend classes remotely, the difficulty of accessing the internet left public school students unable to follow the content offered at a distance. To reverse the digital divide, senator Jader Barbalho (MDB-PA) presented Bill (PL) 2600/2021 in July, a proposal that intends to guarantee the use of resources from the Fund for Universalization of Telecommunications Services (Fust) to promote the connectivity of families that are enrolled in social programs such as Bolsa Família.

According to the text, Fust resources may be used in the construction, expansion or maintenance of the infrastructure necessary to guarantee access to the poorest segment of the population. Jader points out the relationship between poverty and lack of connectivity.

“Currently, digital access must be considered a fundamental right of citizens, given the globalized world in which we live. We have been working hard to eradicate hunger and income poverty, but the time has come to focus more on eradicating digital poverty, with the use of Fust resources to promote the connectivity of those families, beneficiaries of social programs," defended the senator to justify the project.

Studies and surveys reinforce the senator's vision. Data released by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) in March show that at the end of 2019, 4.3 million Brazilian students did not have access to the internet. Of these, 4.1 million studied in the public school system. The Institute for Mobility and Social Development (IMDS) points out that only 29.6% of children whose parents who had no schooling have access to broadband. In homes where parents have a college degree, this share rises to 89.4%.

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