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FIFA World Cup is Likely to Put Pressure on Brazil's Broadband

June 04, 2014


FIFA World Cup is round the corner, and it is one of the most anticipated events for the millions of fans in Latin America. Football is a lot more than a mere sport; it is a way of life for many people in Brazil and other parts of Latin America. There is immense excitement surrounding the event that is going to commence next week in Rio de Janeiro.

The broadband providers of Brazil are likely to face challenges during this FIFA World Cup. Currently, Brazil ranks among the top ten countries in terms of broadband users; with a subscriber base of more than 35 million. Despite this impressive statistic, the large population of Brazil places it behind countries like Chile and Argentina when it comes to market penetration. The broadband speeds are lesser than the speeds in the US and Europe because of the limited availability of high-quality international fiber connectivity. Due to these slow speeds, the Broadband Forum (News - Alert) of Brazil expects the World Cup event to put a great deal of pressure on its infrastructure.

In anticipation of this increased demand, the Brazilian government has made investments to improve broadband speeds. It has boosted the capability of the old public sector monopoly Telebras. Additionally, the government has helped private companies move from ADSL to fiber connectivity since 2008. Despite these efforts, the consumer costs and the lack of rural infrastructure are major impediments to the growth of broadband in Brazil. The perception of risk associated with new technology investment has been a deterrent among some private broadband companies.

In short, it will be interesting to see how the Brazilian broadband infrastructure meets the increased demand from its football fans. More importantly, this situation could provide valuable lessons for other developing economies on how to scale up their infrastructure for future events.