The Internet in Brazil is experiencing phenomenal quantitative growth and qualitative improvement. Growing at a rate twice as fast as the rest of the world, the Internet in Brazil is becoming an increasingly important element in the governmental, economic and social structure of the country. Information that until recently was only available in certain libraries, newsstands, and public and private agencies, within certain regions of the country, or within Brazil itself, is now available to all people with access to e-mail, news servers and the World Wide Web.
The focus of the paper is public policy relating to the growth and development of the Internet in Brazil. The paper is divided into four sections. The first section examines structural restrictions on access to the Internet and opportunities for developing the Internet in Brazil. The second provides an overview of recent government telecommunications policy relating to the Internet, focusing on local user service provision, or the problem of the "last mile," and the development of a National Information Infrastructure. The third section concentrates on key actors and the policy arena surrounding the development of Brazilian Internet policy. The final section analyzes the development of academic, government, and commercial Internet networks in Brazil. It also reviews the resources currently available on World Wide Web (WWW) and discusses how the development of the Internet affects access to information in and about Brazil.