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June 1, 2000
Venezuela May Promote Web Through Prepaid Internet
Venezuela may introduce prepaid cards to allow Internet technology access for low-income families and to bring its population into the cyber age.
According to the Defining Presence Marketing Group
(www.dpmg.com), the typical Internet user has an average family income of $60,000. Out of 150 million Internet users, 86 percent are concentrated in North America. The number of users is expected to double to 300 million by the end of the year.
By contrast, around three-quarters of Venezuela’s population live in poverty, and the country only has approximately 750,000 Internet users among its 24 million people.
Venezuela’s government, under President Hugo Chavez, is drafting a decree to make Internet-awareness and fluency a national
priority, according to Diosdado Cabello, president of state FCC-equivalent
The plan calls for kiosks with five or six computers to be installed in the Caracas Metro, government buildings and other public spaces. Although roughly 45 percent of Internet access is consolidated under CANTV Servicios, a subsidiary of Venezuela’s national telephone company, financing for the project will come partially from privatization.
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