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History of Internet in Brazil
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History of the internet in USA
In Brazil, the history of internet commenced in 1987, when
(a research foundation maintained by the
State of Sao Paulo) and
(National Laboratory of Scientific Computing) exchanged data packets with American institutions using the protocol TCP/IP (by then, there were about 10,000 hosts in the USA). Even though FAPESP and LNCC are official entities, this first internet connection was an initiative of individuals, and not institutional or national projects.
That year, Embratel was the monopolistic long distance carrier in Brazil (for voice and data), and the company didn't use TCP/IP; in 1987, Brazil had (legal) restrictions to import computer hardware, which caused computers to be obsolete and expensive. These facts make the efforts of those pioneers even more impressive.
(a Federal university) connected to
; using UFRJ's know-how and infrastructure, several other universities and research centers also implemented their internet connection. All the circuits were directly contracted with Embratel; the need of a backbone began to be talked about.
In 1990, the
Ministry of Science and Technology
announces the creation of
RNP (National Reseach Network), with the objective of designing and implementing a backbone for internet in Brazil. RNP's structure was meant for research and academic purposes, but it had some importance in the early commercial internet times.
As expected, the RNP backbone faced several problems (lack of financial resources being one of them). A big boost to the project was the fact that, in 1992, Brazil would host the Eco-Summit, a major event which would bring thousands of journalists needing to transmit data to their respective countries. State owned Embratel made investments to improve its TCP/IP structure. In June of 1992, when the summit was opened, for the first time non-academic users gained access to the internet.
From 1992 through 1995, there was a quick expansion of RNP and its backbone; by 1995, most academic and research centers which so desired had access to the backbone. It is estimated that, in 1995, there were about 10,000 hosts connected to the Brazilian internet, with an average of six users per machine, totalling 60,000 Brazilian internet users.
In 1995, in a late acknowledgement of the Revolution caused by the internet, the strong Ministry of Communications joins the Ministry of Science and decides to expand the Brazilian structure; cash injections cause not only the design standards to improve, but also the implementation to closerly follow the schedules; also, Embratel dedicates more attention to the internet.
In May 1995, the Ministries of Communication and Science announce the creation of an
Internet Steering Committee; the Committee would be composed by members of the government, phone companies, backbone operators, ISPs, universities and users.
The Steering Committee (whose composition included many of the internet pioneers) was assigned authority to determine standards in the Brazilian internet; in 1995, the SC authorized the registration of Brazilian domains
by the general public.
In 1998, along with all the Brazilian telecommunication system, Embratel is privatized (American MCI bought it); the
expanded much faster.
From 1998, like elsewhere in the world, internet grows quickly in Brazil. Global players in all internet sectors establish a presence in Brazil, making it an important internet country.
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