Case Study: Mobilizing Capital for School Connectivity in Brazil


Radio frequency spectrum is a finite public resource that has a wide range of use cases for broadband communications providers and other actors. In recent years, governments have made intentional decisions about spectrum allocations to maximize the economic and social benefits of the resource. By way of auction mechanics, governments introduced additional obligations to auction participants to produce targeted results. While these obligations have an impact on the market value of the licenses, as they often pose a financial burden on the winning bidder, they also transfer responsibility and risk to the entities most capable of delivering certain public goods. In the case of Brazil’s 2021 5G spectrum auction, the auction had no discretionary revenue objective. Rather, the entirety of the proceeds was earmarked for reinvestment in the country’s infrastructure, including school connectivity.

Giga’s founding partner, the International Telecommunication Union (“ITU”) served as an advisor to the Brazilian government in the leadup to the country’s 5G auction. Giga will support the government in several key capacities as the country deploys auction proceeds and connects currently unconnected schools to the internet for the first time.

Brazil Connectivity Map, September 2022
Purpose and conclusion
The purpose of this case study is to illustrate how proceeds from spectrum auctions have the potential to produce meaningful socioeconomic impact. To maximize the value and impact of spectrum resources, the structuring and execution of the auctions becomes increasingly important.  As governments increasingly acknowledge that access to the internet is a fundamental right, and prioritize school connectivity accordingly, Giga will warmly welcome opportunities to support governments and regulators in achieving their objectives.