Brazil’s Federal Court of Accounts (Tribunal de Contas da União, or TCU) has approved a contract between the country’s state-controlled telco Telebras and Viasat.
The ruling gives Viasat and Telebras the ability to provide internet service across all of Brazil.
In October 2018, the TCU requested certain modifications to the Telebras-Viasat contract in order to fully commercialise broadband services on Telebras’s SGDC (Geostationary Satellite for Defence and Strategic Communications) Ka-band satellite. Today’s TCU ruling approved all modifications, enabling the two companies to continue bringing high-speed, affordable internet service to unserved and underserved communities, health clinics, schools and hospitals across all of Brazil. The agreement also enables the companies to leverage the SGDC satellite for enterprise and aviation markets, as well as provide satellite-enabled Community Wi-Fi hotspot and residential services across Brazil.
Lisa Scalpone, vice president and general manager of Viasat Brasil, said: “We expect to connect thousands of additional sites in the coming months, bringing important social and economic benefits to the people that need it most in the region.”
Since October 2018, Telebras and Viasat have installed more than 4,500 broadband access sites, mostly schools. Telebras and Viasat combined the capacity of Telebras’ SGDC satellite with Viasat's innovative satellite platform to bring affordable and scalable broadband services to Brazil. The arrangement is founded on a success-based revenue-share model.
Helcio Vieira, commercial director of Telebras, said: “In working on a partnership model, we can take full advantage of the synergies between the partners to enable the commercial viability of the SGDC satellite — Brazil’s only high-capacity Ka-band satellite covering 100% of the country’s territory. Our goal is to connect the unconnected across the country and meet our obligations to provide internet services to Brazil's citizens.”
“The importance of today’s TCU decision…is that it will enable Brazil to leverage the benefits of the investments made in its satellite communications infrastructure, bring broadband connectivity to key government points of interest, provide communications assistance during major catastrophes, and help connect millions of Brazilians, promoting digital and social inclusion. In the first few months of the new Federal administration, we were able to make satellite connectivity available over the SGDC satellite, connecting over 4,500 sites, with more than 1,200,000 students now connected at around 3,700 schools,” reinforced the president of Telebras, Waldemar Gonçalves.