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Published on .

(June 20, 2001) RIO DE JANEIRO -- Globo.com, the Web arm of media giant Globo Group, and Brazil's federally owned bank Caixa Economica Federal (CEF) are offering Brazilians special credit lines to pay for computers and low-cost Internet access in a major effort to spread the Internet to Brazil's underprivileged classes.

"Click with us" is the nationwide project through which CEF will offer up to $8 million in credit to low income families, typically on an average wage of $150 a month. Globo.com estimates that the one million computers available will benefit up to four million people.

CEF clients will be able to acquire a computer with unlimited Internet access for one year, e-mail service and online access to CEF, as well as special classes and technical support through a toll free number.

Brands on offer include Itautec, Unisys, Procomp and Semp Toshiba. Monthly installments will vary between $40 and $43. Printers (Epson and Lexmark) will also be available for a $4 to $4.50 monthly charge. Most financing packages will last 36 months.

Globo.com has developed a special software called "Easy Globo" to help people access the Web and to use its portal. Special training videos have been produced with local actors and an interactive character from Globo.com called 'Mi,' and will provide teaching instructions.

Supporting the venture is a $10 million, multimedia campaign featuring local music stars Sandy and Junior. Handling is Globo's in-house agency. -- Claudia Penteado

Copyright June 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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