Brasilia, May 3 (IANS/EFE) Brazil’s communications minister said Thursday that the 12 stadiums to be used for the 2014 soccer World Cup will serve as springboards to greater high-speed Internet access nationwide.
“That will be one of the legacies of the World Cup for each of the 12 cities,” Paulo Bernardo Silva told foreign correspondents.
FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, requires that each of the stadiums be equipped with two parallel high-speed Internet networks as a safeguard against service interruptions.
The stadiums thus will serve as launching pads for new plans to deliver high-speed Internet to the population, Silva said.
The World Cup matches will be played in the cities of Brasilia, Salvador, Recife, Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, Fortaleza, Cuiaba, Curitiba, Manaus, Natal, Porto Alegre and Sao Paulo.
An ultra-fast fourth-generation wireless and data network will be set up in all of those cities prior to the start of the tournament.
According to the minister, 11 of the 12 World Cup host cities already have a fiber-optic infrastructure in place.
The lone exception is Manaus but that problem will be solved by June thanks to a 1.8 billion ($900 million) project that is not directly linked to the World Cup preparations but instead is part of the government’s plans to bring high-speed Internet access to Brazilians nationwide.
The government intends to popularize high-quality Internet as a side benefit of the major sporting events the country will host in the coming years, which also include the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, he said.