How would you define the meaning of e-Content in Brazil?
“E-content” is a service, information or a product that is available through any digital platform (computer, TV, DVD, CD, mobile phone, radio, PDA or any other device).
What’s the status of e-content in Brazil?
During the last few years, the most important issue was the privatization of the telecom sector. Now telephone lines are cheaper and accessible for more people. The mobile infrastructure improved very quickly as well. So now more companies are developing e-content for the Internet and mobile devices.
Which area of e-content (e-health, e-biz, e-culture, e-gov, e-entertainment, e-learning, e-science, and e-inclusion) is best developed in Brazil?
Definitely e-government and e-business lead the e-content production in Brazil. We have one of the highest rates of interactivity in the world, according to international standards. We had 1 project among the 5 World’s best in WSA 2003 and I believe we have a lot of e-government content that would beat the sectors. However, most of the digital contents are available only in Portuguese, which is kind of good as we lead to have produced content in local language but we also need to produce content in international language.
Which sector (business, private sector, government or civil society) in Brazil is advance in developing e-content?
Both government and private sector are very active creating e-content. I would like to mention the very unusual initiatives from private sector, as the ones we selected for e-inclusion category in WSA 2003 and WSA 2005.
How would you describe the gradual progress of development of e-content in Brazil?
We are struggling to be part of the international ICT community. There are very important initiatives, like electronic voting (100% of votes were exercised online during last year national elections), majority of IRS forms are submitted online and Brazil is one of the top nation in Internet banking solutions.
What major initiatives have influenced the development of e-content in Brazil?
There are three major factors influencing the capacity of creating digital content:
• privatization of telecom sector
What are the major bottlenecks in the path of e-content development in Brazil?
One of the major bottlenecks for e-content development could be financial issues, and most of it related to tax and duties. Access to ICT is very limited for people with low income. Computers are still expensive goods, but at least telephone lines are cheaper and becoming easily accessible and affordable. There is a very promising environment for mobile initiatives, since we have more mobile phones than fixed lines these days.
In most countries, especially developing, e-content development is significantly dependent on ICT infrastructure and ICT facilities. But, in some, ICT has become pervasive and e-content development is primarily subjected to the initiatives of an individual/organization/government, etc. What is the situation in Brazil?
Brazil falls into the category of developing countries, thus significantly dependent on ICT infrastructure and facilities. Of course, things got little better after deregulation of telecom sector a few years ago. But unfortunately, despite several initiatives from government and private sectors, very few people have access to computers (less than 20% population) and Internet access.
On the other hand we are sitting on a huge opportunity. Since we have a huge number of mobile phones I will bet that, in the near future, lots of content will be developed for this platform.
How would you describe the ICT scenario in Brazil in terms of infrastructure, penetration, and policies?
We are still importing IT (Information Technology) hardwares and softwares more than exporting or developing within the country. PC penetration is bellow 20%, as Internet penetration. But on the other hand, Brazil accounts for one at any point of time spending online, surpassing countries like, Japan, US and Korea.
We all know ICT is strategic for every developing country, so if Brazil wants to bridge the content gap, we will have to spend billions of US dollars to acquire technology.
So what we need is a clear policy of incentives from the government to help our local providers enhance its capabilities, otherwise Brazil won’t be able to join the international ICT community. That’s why the World Summit on Information Society is very important for emerging countries.
What’s the future of e-content in Brazil?
There is no future without a clear ICT policy from the government. This is important to incentive local players increase their spending to develop our own ICT products, instead of importing technology.
Which is the most preferred medium for e-content production in Brazil?
There is a significant increase of e-content creation for mobile devices. But the web and CD/DVD are still preferred. Last September Brazil entered the digital radio era.
How do you recognize and appreciate e-content producers and best practices in Brazil?
There are many associations and bodies who recognize various initiatives in the information technology related industry. However, recognition on the basis of content using ICT is somewhat a recent phenomenon, and there aren’t many out there to realize that the final delivery such as content is extremely important for the success of any initiative. Fortunately, Brazilian Chamber of Ecommerce and the Interactive Media Association have forward and have joined hands with World Summit Award. This year, BCA and IMA did the selection together for the national nomination for best e-content. More than 300 projects were submitted through a single website. Out of which, 8 were nominated to WSA. We hope to have the full fledged national chapter of WSA processes very soon so that we have a list of national winners and then from them we would nominate 8 best to WSA.