“America is a Paradise Where High-Speed Internet Costs $5 a Month!”

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On a summer day in the month of May a burly bum came hiking
Down a shady lane through the sugar cane, he was looking for his liking.
As he roamed along he sang a song of the land of milk and honey
Where a bum can stay for many a day, and he won’t need any money
Oh the buzzin’ of the bees in the cigarette trees near the soda water fountain,
At the lemonade springs where the bluebird sings on the Big Rock Candy Mountains

Internet de alta velocidade é muito cara no Brasil: Gerson Luiz Martins writes on his Ciberjornalismo Web log that “High-speed Internet is very expensive in Brazil.”

I tend to agree with that general proposition, based on my own back-of-the-envelope figuring.

Martins is a communications professor at the Federal University of Rio Grande no Norte.

He apparently teaches a course called “Not reality-testing the press release as a productivity booster for content managers.” On which see also

O usuário brasileiro de serviços de alta velocidade de acesso à internet paga muito mais caro do que os internautas do exterior, conforme levantamento feito pela TelComp (Associação Brasileira de Prestadoras de Serviços de Telecomunicações Competitivas).

The Brazilian user of high-speed Internet access pays a lot more than Internauts abroad, according to a study made by TelComp (the Brazilian Association of Competitive Telecom Service Providers.)

That link does not point to TelComp’s Web site, either.

It’s here.

Among the competitive telecom companies it represents: Telmex (Carlos Slim), which controls 90% of fixed telephone lines in Mexico — where rates are the highest in the world.

And which is engaged in a bitter clash of armed media monopolies with Telefónica and former Hacienda secretary Francisco Gil Díaz up there in Mexico at the moment. Fascinating story.

Há casos em que a assinatura mensal de serviço de 1 Mbps no país custa quase 400 vezes o preço cobrado no exterior.

There are cases in which a monthly subscription for a 1-Mbps service in Brazil costs nearly 400 times the price charged abroad.

The numbers behind this “up to 400 times” claim involves an apples to oranges comparison of the most boneheaded kind.

Na Itália, a Tiscali cobra o equivalente a R$ 4,32 ao mês pelo serviço de 1 Mbps. Na França, a Orange cobra R$ 5,02. Nos Estados Unidos, o preço da Time Warner é R$ 12,75. Os usuários japoneses podem adquirir a banda larga de 1 Mbps do Yahoo! por R$ 1,81. No Brasil, a TelComp levantou os preços de Telefônica, Net, Brasil Telecom e Oi.

In Italy, Tiscali charges the equivalent of R$4.32 per month for 1 Mbps service. In France, Orange charges R$5.02. In the United States, Time Warner charges R$ 12.75.

Really?

No, not really.

From the Time Warner Roadrunner Web site:

Road Runner Lite
1.5 Mbps download speed/256 Kbps upload speed
Enjoy Road Runner Lite with all the benefits of Road Runner High Speed Online but at a lower speed and price! Only $29.95 per month.

That is about R$53 at current exchange rates.

Road Runner Lite 768
768 Kbps download speed/128 Kbps upload speed
Road Runner 768 Kbps costs about the same as dial-up but faster for everything you do on the Internet. Get Road Runner Lite 768 for only $24.95 per month!

That is about R$45 a month at current exchange rates.

Where are they getting these numbers? The standard 5-Mbps Roadrunner service is $46.95, and an additional $9.95 to “turbocharge” it to 8-Mbps.

Neither of those plans are precisely comparable to the “1-Mbps” service that is the supposed basis of comparison.

But see also

The happiest day of my life was the day I moved into a Cablevision neighborhood.

The price is comparable, but the service, in our experience, at least, is rock-solid reliable, and performs pretty much as advertised.

I do not see that Orange even offers 1-Mbps service in France.

You know what I think they did?

I think they just took the price for its 8-Mbps service and divided it by 8.

Just a guess. Who knows? Information on how the numbers were actually crunched is not provided.

Segundo a associação, a Net cobrava em São Paulo, em julho, R$ 39,95 por pacote de 1 Mbps e a Telefônica, até R$ 159,80. A Brasil Telecom cobrava até R$ 239,90.

According to the association, in São Paulo, NET was charging R$39.95 for a 1 Mbps package in July, and Telefônica up to R$159.80. Brasil Telecom was charging up to R$239.90.

Manaus registrou o valor mais alto, pela Oi: R$ 716,50 –a conexão é feita por satélite e, por isso, mais cara -o que é equivalente a 395 vezes o valor cobrado no Japão, segundo calcula a TelComp. Os valores foram pesquisados pela TelComp nos sites das operadoras, em julho.

Manaus registered the highest cost, offered by Oi: R$716.50 — the connection is by satellite, which makes it more expensive — which is the equivalent of 395 times the sum charged in Japan, TelComp calculates.

Satellite Internet is 395 times cheaper in Japan than in the Amazonian capital, Manaus? Or some other type of service is that cheap? What service? I strongly suspect alhos are being sold as bugalhos here as well.

Para o presidente da TelComp, Luiz Cuza, o governo deve implementar ferramentas de competição e atuar de forma firme nas questões de fusões e aquisições do mercado. “A concorrência propicia melhores preços e serviços”, diz, em comunicado enviado por sua assessoria de imprensa.

According to TelComp president Luiz Cuza, the government ought to implement competitive measures and act firmly on questions of mergers and acquisitions in the market. “Competition provides better prices and services,” he said, in a statement sent by his press office.

In other words, this professor of Cyberjournalism has simply cheerfully plagiarized the press release he received.

Possibly garbling it in the process.

This is the sort of thing that gives Cyberjournalism a bad name, as synonymous with crude propaganda and the propagation of nonexistent factoids.

The cost — and quality — of high-speed Internet is a legitimate issue here in Brazil, I think. I know as consumers of these services, we are certainly disgruntled. And we are not alone.

But it is an issue about which it is hard to get much solid information because of the shrieking FUD wars in the press on the subject.

This sort of nonsense tends to delegitimate the cause of organizing consumers to demand better value for their hummingbird greenback, however.

https://i2.wp.com/www.geocities.com/Athens/Cyprus/8943/Brasil/1real.jpg
The one-real note: the fact that it is printed on newsprint-quality paper makes you wonder whether the Plano Real was really all that planned.

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