São Paulo city picks vendor for public WiFi rollout

A fourfold increase in service coverage is expected with the new contract in place.

Following the launch of a tender for the expansion of the public WiFi provision in the city of São Paulo, a vendor has been chosen to deliver the service.

America Net will be tasked with expanding the current WiFi network from 120 spots to 619 locations across the city such as cultural centers and libraries. The initial goal was to at least double the number of locations providing free connectivity by 2020.

A key goal for the São Paulo City Hall to also reduce the cost of the services to the taxpayer - currently at 12 million reais ($3.2 million) a year.

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"We are proposing a private sector financing model that does not burden the city budget and ensures quality internet provisioning for regions of greater social vulnerability," said Daniel Annenberg, innovation and technology secretary at the City Hall.

The tender states that the winning bidder will be able to carry out digital marketing campaigns with the public. According to the City Hall, users will have their right to privacy, network neutrality and protection of personal data ensured.

The contents of the tender and the terms in which America Net will be able to operate comply "in an unrestricted manner" with the guidelines set out by the Marco Civil da Internet - Brazil's "Internet Constitution" - and the General Data Protection Law, even though that is still being voted.