The Vila Real de Santo António City Council has recently concluded the process of reorganizing its "Internet Spaces", in a process that it classifies as being "a commitment to the democratization of access to information technologies".
The «Internet Spaces» are distributed throughout all the parishes of the municipality and allow, freely and free of charge, to access the Internet, digitize and process documents, make prints, among other services.
Currently, each of the Internet Spaces is equipped with more than a dozen computers – one of which is accessible for the blind – and offers extended hours. In addition to residents, the spaces have been frequented by hundreds of tourists.
In VRSA, the internet service is available at the Vicente Campinas Municipal Library and operates from Monday to Friday, between 9:15 and 19:45. On Saturdays, it is open between 14:15 pm and 19:45 pm.
Already in Monte Gordo, the Internet Space now operates on the premises of the Community Center/Casa do Avô and can be visited, on weekdays, from 9:00 am to 18:00 pm.
The recent change of facilities gives it a more central location, as this is the most sought after by users of foreign nationality. According to a survey carried out by the municipality, Dutch tourists are the ones who use the service the most.
In Cacela, the space remains on the premises of the Parish Council, in Largo Manuel Cabanas, and is open from Monday to Saturday, from 9:00 am to 21:00 pm.
The opening of Internet Spaces in the municipality of Vila Real de Santo António resulted from an application approved under the Knowledge Society Operational Program – POS Knowledge and the Information Society Operational Program (POSI) of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education and represented an investment of around 430 thousand euros, with the municipality contributing more than 145 thousand euros.
Over the eight years of activity, the project has received thousands of users. In 2011 alone, the number of Internet access sessions in the Municipal Library surpassed 10 thousand uses.