Internet Research in Brazil
Presently, Brazil is the country in Latin America which has attracted the most interest in the development of the Internet industry. There are several reasons for the privileged status of Brazil.
In many countries, the state of the Internet is subject to a great deal of hyperbole, with various estimates of the size of the Internet user community that vary by orders of magnitude. In the case of Brazil, we are rather fortunate in having an established research tracking study that is published regularly. We are referring to the Pesquisa Internet Brasil conducted by IBOPE Midia.
In February 2000, the 5th edition of the Pesquisa Internet Brasil was published. This was a survey covering persons 10 years of older in nine major cities (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba, Porto Alegre, Belo Horizonte, Distrito Federal, Fortaleza, Salvador and Recife). In all, a sample of 15,392 persons were interviewed during December 1999. It is important to note that the Pesquisa Internet Brasil is a general population survey, which is the only way to obtain penetration estimates.
According to the 5th edition of the Pesquisa Internet Brasil, 3.3 million (or 9%) of the survey population of 36 million persons use computers to access the Internet. This is the bottom-line summary statistic for the state of the Internet in Brazil. The Pesquisa Internet Brasil also has information about home versus work usage, Internet activities, e-purchases and satisfaction with ISPs, with profiles by age, sex, social class and education.
The Pesquisa Internet Brasil sheds some light about the short-term and long-term prospects for the Internet in Brazil. For example, focusing on home Internet access, we have the following classification of the population:
|Home Telephone||Home Computer||Home Internet Access||% of population|
We note the following:
The 7.4% represent the size of the current home Internet user population
The 5.5% represents the immediate potential increase in home Internet user population, since in principle these people have the technological infrastructure to proceed. In fact, 64% of these people (or 3% of the population) indicated that they would like to be able to access the Internet.
The 37.1% of people with telephone but no computers represent a harder sell, and the diffusion of the Internet will be slower among this group. The issues here are as much reduced costs of computer equipment and Internet access as education and training about computer technology and also setting and meeting consumer expectations.
Unlike the situation in the USA, where telephone penetration is over 90% of the population, almost half of the Brazilian population do not have telephone. After all, Brazil is still a country with severe socio-economic inequality. As such, until these larger socio-economic issues are resolved, this is a barrier for the widespread adoption of Internet access.
(posted by Roland Soong on 3/31/00)
(Return to Zona Latina's Home Page)