Cuba Expands Public Internet Services


Cuba will expand public internet services next June 4 in some 118 cyber centers operating throughout the country, according to a resolution issued by the island’s Communications Ministry.

The Internet services will be offered in all commercial offices of the Cuban Telecommunications Company ETECSA, which count on Internet rooms. With this aim a total of 118 facilities were set up on the island, particularly in main cities, while other similar facilities will progressively be opened.

The new offer includes Internet navigation and other services, such as international email services under the domain, and according to prices already set under a resolution issued by the Finance and Price Ministry, which was published May 27 on the official Gazette.

The prices of the service depend on the modality picked by users, such as national or international internet access, including email service. In all cases, users will be provided the services only at ETECSA cyber centers.
The expansion of theses services join others that have been operating in over 200 cyber-centers in Cuban hotels, as well as in post offices. The initiative came in after the optic fiber cable connecting Cuba and Venezuela became operational, thus guaranteeing higher quality and stability for local communications, despite the limitations imposed by the US economic, commercial and technological blockade of Cuba.

Although the optic fiber cable improves international communications, which have thus far been established mainly via satellite, it is not a free service; therefore, the expansion of the public internet service has a preliminary cost.

On the other hand, important investment is still necessary to be implemented in order to modernize current technology and expand facilities where the public can connect to the Internet, which includes different alternative actions.

Cuba first connected to the Internet in 1996 and since that point in time it has prioritized its social use, despite the hurdles imposed by the US policy against the island.


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