The idea is not new. During last president’s mandate, a project for a “Popular PC” (a computer to cost around US$ 250) were designed but not implemented. The new government, with a great focus in digital inclusion and with lots of backing from the free software community, began talking again about the issue.
Aimed at the micro and small companies, and C- and D-class families (families that make 2-10 times the minimum salary a month tops [the minimum is, as for today, R$ 240 – US$ 80]), the Popular PC project will be backed by the National Social and Economic Development Bank and will be running Free Software. Public financing banks like Caixa and Brazilian Bank will help people buying these computers sharing their costs in R$ 60 (US$ 20) tops payments. Telco and cable-tv companies will make Internet available for as low monthly fees as R$ 6 (US$ 2)
Sérgio Amadeu (who became famous by being sued by Microsoft), president of IT National Institute, and Cézar Alvarez, general subsecretary of the Presidency, are the driving forces behind this new project. They want the Popular PC to be available for under R$ 1,000 (about US$ 333). The project will be born as a Provisory Measure (as politicians call something the President wants to take effect at once, being discussed by the Congress and the Senate later on) by the end of September.
I am very curious about this new project… it’s the first time I see something like that happening. Sure the thing is just in the beginning (and everything can just sink with big corporation’s lobby), but wouldn’t it be wonderful if this goes forward?