A survey of 2,800 towns by the National Confederation of Municipalities (CNM) has found that mayors want to use the Internet but don?t know how. Worse still, they can?t even find service providers who are willing to meet their needs.
According to Alessandro Reis, the confederation?s IT consultant, 85% of Brazilian municipalities are very small and don?t have telecoms networks capable of high-speed data transport or dedicated links to other important local entities. ?All the carriers are competing for the same profitable areas,? he said. ?Meanwhile they simply ignore towns that could be profitable if properly served because there are so many.? Mr Reis was speaking at a seminar on ?Solutions in Telecommunications: Satellite Applications? held in São Paulo by Converge Eventos.
Small municipalities represent an enormous opportunity for satellite carriers, who cover the entire country and often deliver complete solutions, he said.
The CNM survey also shows that only 33% of the municipal governments interviewed have access to the Web. A mere 10% of those have dedicated access. Only 18% of the Internet users in the survey have reliable hardware and registered software. ?Local governments don?t know what to buy and are easily duped by small resellers,? said Alessandro Reis. ?Most mayors don?t even know they?re using pirated software. When you look at telecoms solutions the situation gets worse because they have no idea what it?s all about.? Telcos and satellite carriers should learn to use less technical language when marketing services to municipal governments, he argued.