Think about which nations are the most connected in the world, and Cuba definitely is not on that list. But maybe that can change. On Sunday, the state telecommunications company in Cuba (ETECSA) said that it will launch the first domestic broadband program in Havana.
With this program, citizens, cafes, restaurants, and bars in Old Havana will be able to order broadband service that's operated via the Chinese telecom company Huawei. The Associated Press says that previously home broadband has been available only for "diplomats and employees of foreign companies who pay hundreds of dollars a month for Internet links that are a fraction of the average speed in other countries." And there is some public WiFi in Cuba, but they cost $2 an hour - price that could prohibit many people from partaking. ETECSA says they will open 30 WiFi spots in Havana this year, which the AP says would by itself "double the number of access points in Cuba."
As of now, ETECSA hasn't given out any details on the timeline for the domestic broadband project in Old Havana, the pricing, or when access will roll out to additional locations. The main point is that the project is happening in a nation where some people's only access to the internet is through dial-up or a limited phone connection where they can only access the state-run email client. So in this case, almost any progress is good progress.
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