sábado, 25 de noviembre de 2006

Recent Articles on Latin American Networking - 1998

Recent Articles on Latin American Networking

The articles linked here were downloaded from InfoLatinoamerica via Biblioline, http://www.nisc.com and Lexis Nexis Academic Universe, http://www.lexis-nexis.com/universe

* The Americas Online --Matthew Yeomans, The Standard, http://www.thestandard.com
* THE HIGH COST OF FREE INTERNET ACCESS --Ian Katz, Business Week, January 24, 2000.
* COMMUNICATIONS-LATIN AMERICA: INTERNET CHEAPER, MORE ACCESSIBLE --Abraham Lama, Interpress Service, December 29, 1999.
* TECHNOLOGY: LATIN AMERICA NEXT FOR INTERNET REVOLUTION --Gumisai Mutume, Interpress Service, November 7, 1999.
* COMMUNICATIONS-LATAM: INTERNET GROWS BY LEAPS AND BOUNDS --Nefer Munoz, Interpress Service, October 7, 1999.
* Internet Fever. Latin Trade; 6(8):61+, August 1998.
* Uneven growth of Internet hosts. Market Latin America: 6(6):3, June 1998
* Internet increasingly informs, empowers ordinary Latin Americans. Miami Herald; April 13, 1998.
* LATIN AMERICA: THE FUTURE OF CYBERSPACE --Diego Cevallos, Interpress Service, April 17, 1996.

These articles are used here with permission of the authors; downloaded at various times from email and internet sites.

* Latin America Online: The Internet, development, and democratization. Margaret Everett, in Human Organization 57(4), Winter 1998. Text version posted here with author's permission.
* Cyberculture Comes to the Americas, by Barbara Belejack, Originally published in NACLA Report, December 1996.
* Linking Up Latin America, by Julio Ojeda-Zapata, St. Paul Pioneer Press, August 19, 1996.
* Mexico: Window on Technology and the Poor , by Gary Chapman, LA Times, October 28, 1996.

TITLE: Internet Fever.
TITLE, EXTENDED: Despite many obstacles for Internet access in Latin
America, about 7-10 mil people do have Internet access,
with estimates suggesting the total reaching 34 mil by the
end of the decade
SOURCE: Latin Trade; 6(8):61+, August 1998.
ISSN: 1087-0857
On-line service providers; Information services; Information industry;
Online data processing; Online services; Brazil; Latin America; South
& Central America; Market information; Industry forecasts; Market size;
Trends; Users
Estimates are that 7-10 mil Latin Americans have Internet access, with the
number rising rapidly. Brazil accounts for almost half of the region's
Internet activity, home to over 500 Internet Service Providers (ISPs),
with the largest one, Universe OnLine, receiving 5.8 mil hits/day from
users. According to a survey by Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, the region is
coming online at twice the rate as the rest of the world and will number
34 mil people online by the end of the decade. The region faces many
obstacles to Internet access, including poor dial-up connections, lack of
local content, access favored towards the affluent, and many low income
residents who cannot afford either a computer or pay-per-minute phone
service. Most Latin Americans that are online use it for email and are not
willing to wait the possible 10-15 minutes for their computer to receive
an Internet page. Full text discusses Internet usage in Latin America in
more detail.
It may he neither perfect nor widespread, but Latin Americans believe that
going online is the key to their future.


CHARLY ALBERTI IS BEST known as the drummer of Argentine rock band Soda
Stereo. But since the band's breakup last year, Alberti is on to a new
gig. His Web site, Cybrel Argentina, allows people to sample his music
over the Internet, take a hand in composing new songs or converse about
music in chatrooms.

Cybrel plays to a potentially much larger audience than Alberti's former
band could ever pack into a stadium. By several estimates, over 7 million
Latin Americans now access the Internet, some say the figure reaches 10
million, and the ranks are swelling at a mega pace. The heady combination
of a wealth of data a few clicks away over the World Wide Web and
communication made fast and easy via email have lured the region online,
with rich and poor alike seeing the Internet as the best way to break open
the traditional information bottleneck.

photo omitted

Brazil accounts for nearly half the region's electronic activity, with
more than 500 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offering access. The
largest of them, Universe OnLine, a joint venture owned by Brazil's Abril
and Folha media groups, receives 5.8 million hits a day from users, making
it one of the world's busiest non-English language sites. A survey by
Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, the Latin American arm of the British advertising
agency, shows the region's inhabitants coming online at twice the rate of
the rest of the world. Further, the company predicts that 34 million
people in the region will have entered the electronic arena by the end of
the decade.

Regardless of the challenges presented by poor dial-up connections and
access skewed toward the affluent, the idea of the information highway has
won over the hearts and minds of Latin America. "Internet brought a new
dimension to the information age," says Luiz Costa-curta, vice president
of Brazilian consulting firm IMVC, who now spends an hour a day online,
and makes four out of five contacts with clients via email. "It brings it
to life and makes sense even for those who do not like technology."

Fernando Espuelas would agree. He and a partner founded Star Media in 1996
as the first Internet content company focusing on Latin America. The lore
among his employees has it that Espuelas knew the region thirsted for what
the Internet had to offer from his experience showing off the World Wide
Web at shopping malls in his former job at AT&T. Espuelas marvelled that
people would wait more than two hours for a short hands-on demonstration.
As the story goes, one old man waited for hours, had his turn, and
immediately got back in line to do it again. Star Media now boasts 500,000
users a month and a host of advertisers paying to reach them. "People like
the lack of boundaries and the opportunities to meet people from across
the region," says Star Media's development head Tracy Leeds. "Latin
Americans are fantastic communicators. They love to talk. Getting our
audience to participate in chat rooms and on billboards has not been a

What has been a problem is the lack of fresh, compelling Web sites that
draw users back time and time again. Latin America is not by nature an
information culture, and that is evident on the Internet. Many Web sites
in the region are stale and boring, filled with information deemed too
useless to be valuable, and thus safe to post online, in many ways a
reflection of the prevailing by-rote education system. "The World Wide Web
business here is very immature, heavily oriented toward static pages,"
says Carlos Ausset, the head of Chilean computer-based training company
Comunicacion Interactiva. "Unfortunately, too many clients know too
little, and can't distinguish. They are sold a pretty Web page, but one
that really doesn't have much to it." Adds Star Media's Leeds, "We see
competitors making the same mistakes that were made in the early days in
the United States: static news, static sites."

One of the biggest obstacles to massive Internet aculturation is getting
the majority of the population online. While marketers say that the
Internet has become a major motivation in almost all consumer computer
purchases this year, few in the region can afford to buy a PC. "I get
really nervous when people say 'Internet in Latin America,'" says Carlos
Perry, head of Latin America research for U.S.-based Yankee Group. "A
large segment of the population will never have a PC."

Pay-per-minute phone service is another cost barrier. Such fees limit the
ability of many middle-income families that do own computers to stay
connected to the Internet through the phone system for any length of time.
Most multinationals and the region's largest companies use dedicated
connections, but other businesses are wary of widening access to
employees, too. "The pay-per-minute issue is especially big for companies
trying to control technology costs," says Annika Alford, Internet analyst
for U.S. researcher IDC. "There is no revamping of business structures to
incorporate the Internet; instead, they are trying to complement existing
activities and access is much more targeted."

graph omitted

There have been some unique solutions. Chile's CTC and Peruvian ISP Red
Cientifica Peruana offer Internet kiosks, open access terminals from which
computerless users can sign onto the Internet on a cost-per-use basis.
Also, a majority of traffic comes from terminals tied into corporate or
academic networks, most users' only option for reaching the Internet,
regardless of what they do once online.

But once they manage to hook up, Latin Americans are following similar
usage patterns to those set by users in the United States. After
connecting, email among friends and family is the first activity most
attempt, followed by adopting email into daily routines at work and home.
Later comes Websurfing and interactive pursuits such as participating in
chatrooms and other online activities. "Surfing is not nearly important in
Colombia as sending email," says Jason Aparicio, head of Internet services
at Colombian ISP Colomsat. "People are not prepared to wait 10 or 15
minutes while their computer receives a page from the Internet."

Even in areas with speedier connections, the lack of local content drives
many users into foreign territory in the quest for information. Argentine
TV host Alejandro Marley is not uncommon among Web surfers: "I start with
a Yahoo search for any entertainment guide and then I go to look at the
Billboard pages to see the world rankings, then I go to Entertainment
Weekly [a U.S. publication]. The Internet allows me to get the low-down,
the latest news and gossip about artists."

This is a niche that Star Media thinks it can exploit, even as it targets
the upper 20th percentile of households by income. The company reckons
that half these homes have computers, but of those, only 12% claim to be
proficient in English, the de facto language of the World Wide Web. While
major U.S. Web companies like Yahoo and Netscape are rushing to create
"portals" or gateways through which users cross to other Web sites, Star
Media wants to be the equivalent of a cul-de-sac. "We are the best of AOL
and Yahoo for the Latin American market. We have deep content, but we are
free on the Web," says Leeds. "There's really no reason to go anywhere

That strategy is hardly kin to the freewheeling, open culture of the
Internet. Nonetheless, it may be the sort of culture in which Latin
Americans are more comfortable while they cut their online teeth. Shopping
over the Internet is another area in which buyers are showing caution.
Analysts point out that credit cards are relatively new in the region, let
alone electronic commerce. Pizza Pizza, a Colombian restaurant, found out
the hard way, receiving only three orders in a year of offering pizzas
online. "It became apparent to us that most people were using the net to
send email and find out information, but not to order things," says
manager Clara Sanin.

Sanin plans to refloat the scheme next year, and others think that such
barriers will be quick to fall. "The consumer market and small business
sales are ramping up very quickly," says Oscar Anzola, the Latin America
head of U.S. technology firm 3Com. "People are starting to buy into the
idea of buying online."

photo omitted

Red Cientifica director Jose Soriano has claimed that the Internet
revolution will not be complete until his country's Quechua-speaking
Indians can go online--in their native language--to transact for
information on topics that interest them, such as high-altitude potato
farming or prices of wool. Though that may be a long way off, Soriano
routinely receives overwhelming applause at conferences when he states his

Such is Latin America's enthusiasm for the electronic revolution and the
hopes for the region's emerging online presence. "There is a fever about
the Internet," says Luis Anavitarte, analyst at U.S. research firm
Dataquest. "Everyone is talking about it even if they don't know what it

--With additional reporting by Steven Anderson in Santiago, Rupert Eden in
Buenos Aires, Carlos Neve in Sao Paulo and Adam Thomson in Bogosa.

Copyright 1998 Freedom Communications, Inc.
PUB. TYPE: Journal Article
PUB. COUNTRY: United States

from the Business & Industry (R) database (C) 1998 Responsive Database
Services, Inc.



TITLE: Uneven growth of Internet hosts.
TITLE, EXTENDED: The number of Internet hosts worldwide rose 70% from 1/96
to 1/97 and 1,230% from 1993 to 1996; number of hosts
totaled 12,688 in Argentina and 77,148 in Brazil
SOURCE: Market Latin America; 6(6):3, June 1998.
ISSN: 1066-7024
On-line service providers; Information services; Information industry;
Online data processing; Online services; Brazil; Latin America; South
& Central America; World; Market information; Market size; Users
Explosive growth of Internet use in Latin America has motivated financial
institutions and publications to put more information at the fingertips of
market researchers, but the evolution of hosts has been much faster in
some Latin American nations than others. While Peril and Brazil have
experienced dramatic increases in the number of hosts, Ecuador, Mexico,
and Venezuela have barely kept pace with the rest of the world.

Large numbers of Internet hosts are springing up throughout the region to
meet the increasing demand for on-line information. According to Network
Wizards at [http://www.nw.com/], the number of hosts worldwide increased
70 percent from January 1996 to January 1997, and a staggering 1,230
percent from 1993 to 1996. It is expected that decreasing computer prices
combined with improved service thanks to the breakup of telecommunications
monopolies will spur continued growth of Internet use.

As more Internet users gain access to more data, the need grows for
products and services which somehow separate useful information from that
which is not. Search engines identify numerous "relevant hosts" for almost
any keyword. Sorting through the pages and recovering information has
become a daunting task which is further complicated by hosts changing
their location on the Web or disappearing altogether without notice. Among
the most relevant sources of market-related information are the following.

* Brazil: Banco Central do Brasil presents the publication Boletim on its
Web site at [http://www.beb.gov.br/]. Boletim's extensive information on
the Brazilian financial system and economy can be downloaded to Excel or
Lotus worksheets.

* Venezuela: The financial newspaper, El Universal, at [http://
www.eluniversal.com/] offers free subscriptions and an engine to search
several months' worth of archived papers.

* Peru: Instituto National de Estadistica e Informatica, Peru's
statistical organization, has current information on the Peruvian economy
at [http://www.inei.gob.pe/].

* Mexico: The Informacion Economica section of Banco de Mexico's site at
[http://www.banxico.org.mx/] has a search engine for finding specific

SOURCE: "Internet Growth in Latin America" (1997), Kimberly Kubali;
telephone +1 (212) 250-8379; e-mail [kimberly.kubali@btalexbrown.com].


Growth of Internet use in Latin America is reflected in the
substantial number of Web site hosts now found in the region. The
following is a breakdown by nation for 1997.

Country Number of hosts

Argentina 12,688
Brazil 77,148
Chile 15,885
Colombia 9,054
Ecuador 590
Mexico 29,840
Peru 5,192
Venezuela 2,417
Rest of the world 16,146,000

SOURCES: Network Wizards at and CIA Handbook

Copyright 1998 IBC USA Licensing, Inc
PUB. TYPE: Newsletter
PUB. COUNTRY: United States

from the Business & Industry (R) database (C) 1998 Responsive Database
Services, Inc.



TITLE, EXTENDED: Today, the Peruvian Scientific Network controls 75% of
Peru's Internet connections, with 70,000 subscribers and
500,000 hits to its Web site
SOURCE: Miami Herald [FL]; April 13, 1998.
ISSN: 0898-865X
On-line service providers; Information services; Information industry;
Online data processing; Online services; Latin America; Peru; South &
Central America; Market information; Market share; Users
By Gerardo Reyes

Apr. 13--As the hemisphere's leaders gather in Santiago to discuss the
halting pace of economic integration, a silent revolution is uniting
millions of Latin Americans at the speed of sound.

It is the Internet revolution, a civilized union of common people,
educational institutions and nongovernment foundations that have made
Latin America the region where Internet use has grown fastest.

At this week's Summit of the Americas, ministers and presidents who read
regional proposals will find a good example of this effort of civilian
achievements, communications integration and exchange of health-related
information in Latin America: the Peruvian Scientific Network at http://

The network is a nonprofit, user-financed consortium of individual,
academic, nongovernmental, business and public-sector entities like
universities and private companies who built a virtual-reality city.

Founded in 1991 by a Peruvian reporter with a computer and three modems,
the network has become a busy center of information for Latin America.

Today, the Peruvian Scientific Network controls 75 percent of Peru's
Internet connections, with 70,000 subscribers and 500,000 hits to its Web

Some services are offered by the network in Spanish, English and Quechua,
an Indian language still spoken in Peru:

In several Peruvian cities, the network has installed 27 public booths
where users who don't have a computer -- or can't afford Internet service -
- can access the network for $1 a day, e-mail service included.

In the past two years, entrepreneurs have made 1,100 transactions with
counterparts in 33 countries, according to network manager and founder
Jose Soriano.

Every time disaster strikes Latin America, the Peruvian Scientific Network
Web page becomes a meeting place for foundations and rescuers.

As in real cities, this virtual domain has an area that reflects the
frustrations of Latin Americas. In the Web cellar, a visitor will find a
flashing sign saying "In days, the monopoly will be over."

The countdown refers to the date when telecommunications industries in
Peru and other Latin American countries will be opened to competition.

"The Internet has been very costly in Latin America partly because of the
monopolies on telecommunications," Soriano said.

The network is in the midst of a legal battle with Telefonica del Peru,
which accuses it of providing services that are the exclusive domain of

Copyright 1998 Miami Herald; provided by Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business
PUB. TYPE: Newspaper Article
PUB. COUNTRY: United States

from the Business & Industry (R) database (C) 1998 Responsive Database
Services, Inc.



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