Connecting CUBA

Submitted by ub on Wed, 08/15/2018 - 10:30

In the spirit of full disclosure, I should point out that I was born in Cuba. However, when I was there last there was no Internet.

Now more than 5 million cell phone users in Cuba have received free internet, in an eight-hour test before the government launched sales of the service.

The test marks the first time internet services were available nationwide. Reuters reports:
Cuba is one of the Western Hemisphere's least connected countries. There are hundreds of Wi-Fi hotspots in Cuba but virtually no home penetration. Dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez @yoanisanchez who is considered the country's social media pioneer raved that she had directly sent a tweet from her mobile. In another tweet, she called the test a "citizen's victory." On the streets of Havana, mobile users said they were happy about the day of the free internet, even as some complained that connectivity was notably slower than usual.

Hotspots currently charge about $1 an hour although monthly wages in Cuba average just $30. The government has not yet said how much most Cubans would pay for mobile internet, or when exactly sales of the service will begin. But [the state-run telecommunications monopoly ETECSA] is already charging companies and embassies $45 a month for four gigabytes. Analysts have said broader Web access will ultimately weaken government control over what information reaches people in a country where the state has a monopoly on the media.

Cubans cheer as the internet goes nationwide for a day

Meanwhile, officials in #USA have created an alliance to denounce the violations of human rights in #Cuba. Radio and TV Martí, together with Freedom House, announced on Tuesday the campaign "Cuban, know your rights"