Since Sunday, Brazilian government’s Radiobrás Internet services, are using free source software. This is in compliance with a federal government decision for its users to migrate to cost-free programs like Linux that allow users to execute, study, modify and forward them without restrictions.
The final “migration” to free source software began Saturday morning (January 8) and ended only on Sunday afternoon. During the transfer, radiobras.gov.br services were precarious and frequently off the air. Since Sunday afternoon the service has been back to normal.
However, the migration process began way back in mid-2003 when a group of 25 computer specialists began the gradual replacement of servers and workstations.
One of the immediate results of the migration to free source software will be a significant reduction in operational costs for Radiobrás.
The federal government’s ITI (Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia da Informação – National Institute of Information Technology), an organ linked to the president’s Chief of Staff cabinet, is in charge of the free software program for all federal branches.
Free software is already a reality in several government institutions in Brazil. Civil servants in federal, state, and municipal spheres are installing and managing administrative structures with platforms and applications based on open sources.
Last April, the Brazilian government promoted the First Week of Preparation and Training in Free Software. On that occasion, over 2,200 civil servants participated in 150 technical training courses.
More than just provide training, the week was intended to expand the participants’ familiarity with open software, turning them into propagators of the knowledge and technology related to open source platforms.
According to Presidential Chief of Staff, Minister José Dirceu, the event was the fruit of a collective effort that began in the Electronic Government Executive Committee to disseminate the culture of free software, the universalization of information, and digital inclusion in the country.
“The challenge is to transform this tool into a concrete instrument for the improvement of public administration. Therefore, I ask all of you to pledge yourselves to pass along all the knowledge you acquire.”
According to the president of the National Institute of Information Technology (ITI), Sérgio Amadeu, mastery of free software can place Brazil among the world’s major technological powers.
For him, the option in favor of free software represents a cultural change, an option for a new development model and the use of collective intelligence.
“The Week of Preparation in Free Software is the beginning of a shift to a future that will surely be a free future,” he declared at the time.