Brazil World Cup stadiums plagued by Internet problems - official

Brasilia: Thousands of soccer fans could struggle to use the Internet at half of the World Cup stadiums in Brazil, a top government official said on Wednesday, underscoring the country`s problems in preparing for the massive sporting event in June.

Communications Minister Paulo Bernando said that six of the 12 stadiums have not yet inked deals to install Wi-Fi networks, leaving only mobile networks available, which may not be sufficient to supply fans` demand for data capacity during games.

"Even if those stadiums sign deals now, it will be very difficult to offer good-quality service," Bernardo told reporters in Brasilia.

Preparations for the tournament, which starts on June 12, have been bogged down by a series of construction delays at stadiums and major airports, and road and transportation projects at host cities are unfinished.

Spotty cellphone coverage at key sites during the 2013 Confederation Cup, a sort of dress rehearsal for this year`s World Cup, raised worries about coverage at the tournament`s venues.

Wi-Fi networks at stadiums are expected to increase data capacity by as much as 50 percent.

One of the stadiums in which fans could have a hard time to upload photos or access social media is the Arena Corinthians, which will hold the World Cup`s opening match, Bernardo said.

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