The photo illustrates the “Lan House Revolution” taking place right now in Brazil. Across the country, the majority of Brazilians accessing the Internet today do so through Local Area Networks (LAN) spanning all cities and communities.
The concept of the LAN arrived in Brazil in 1998 but it had been previously observed only in the rich Brazilian neighborhoods. Now it has become a phenomenon especially in poorer and smaller communities, where computers and broadband connection are beyond the reach of the population.
According to Ronaldo Lemos, director of the Center for Technology and Society at the Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV) School of Law in Rio de Janeiro, “lan houses are places of intense sociability, and are occupying an important place in the life of the favelas”. His paper LAN Houses: A new wave of digital inclusion in Brazil was presented at the recent Harvard University Communication and Human Development Conference.