The FUST fund looks set to be a way for Anatel and the Communications Ministry to rebuild damaged relations, judging from their successful collaboration on the proposal just approved by the National Audit Court to create a new public service paid for by the fund. Communications Minister Miro Teixeira was in the audience while the Court?s decision was announced, together with Edmundo Matarazzo, Anatel?s head of universalization, and senior staff from both agencies.
They all rejoiced when the Court finished announcing its decision, clearly reflecting plenty of collaboration by Anatel, the ministry and aides to the Court in ensuring no doubts would remain as to how FUST can support investment projects. Mr Matarazzo himself proposed such a solution some time ago, as did other members of Anatel?s board, when the Court began raising questions about the bidding rules issued by Anatel for FUST projects (and eventually canceled).
The enthusiasm was such that Pedro Jaime, secretary of telecommunications at the ministry, and Edmundo Matarazzo scheduled for Thursday morning (August 14) a meeting to start discussing how to make digital inclusion a reality for schools throughout the country. Anatel and the ministry expect service providers to be licensed about nine months from now.
Pedro Jaime recalled that FUST had collected 2.3 billion Brazilian Reals (now about 800,000 US Dollars) by last June. He said the money is held by the Treasury, where ?it?s in very safe keeping? and can?t be used for any purpose other than those specified in the law that created the fund. He also said one of the Communications Ministry?s main tasks from now on will be to make sure the Planning Ministry includes FUST in next year?s national budget so the necessary funds can be made available for investment.