BNAmericas, citing federal news agency Agencia Brasil, quotes the Brazilian minister for institutional relations, Ideli Salvatti, as saying that the Marco Civil da Internet (civil internet bill) will be retained for 2014. The minister notes that whilst the civil internet bill is currently blocking other bills from being voted on in the national congress, it will be the first ‘in line’ for a vote in 2014. ‘It’ll have to be voted on [soon], otherwise the lower house will vote on nothing else, as it became very clear that the president will not withdraw the vetoes,’ Salvatti is quoted as saying, noting that as the bill’s so-called ‘urgency’ deadline has expired, it is now ‘partially freezing the activities of the lower house’.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, earlier this week Telefonica Brazil (Vivo) backed the proposed bill, having approved the latest changes to the text announced by lawmaker Alessandro Molon. Telefonica Brazil (Vivo) president Antonio Carlos Valente said: ‘The Marco Civil discussion focused heavily on network neutrality. But there is no case in Brazil in which neutrality has been affected. Anyway, with the new text presented it is assured that there will be no harm done to consumers.’
Alessandro Molon is the author of the civil internet bill and has presented a new draft, complete with amendments – specifically the inclusion of a new item concerning internet principles, which mentions in its text the ‘freedom of business models promoted on the internet, provided they do not conflict with the other principles established in this law.’ For companies such as Telefonica Brazil, this principle establishes the playing field for telcos to ‘continue offering (and charging according to) distinct plans, with different download limits or speeds for example, despite the network neutrality requirement.’