Cuba to Expand Internet Connectivity, Lower Prices

The telecommunication company said it is opening 35 internet centers across the country and halving the prices of an hour of internet.

Cuba said that it was expanding internet coverage in the country and dropping the price of the hourly usage of internet, the local Cuban daily Juventud Rebelde newspaper reported Thursday.

The newspaper said that the telecommunication authority in the country has plans to open 35 internet centers around the country. According to the Communications Director of at the Cuban Telecommunication Company Luis Manuel Díaz Naranjo, the centers are expected to be ready by July 1 as his organization is finishing up “final settings to ensure the quality of the service.”

The centers would allow people who own WiFi-enabled devices, such as phones or laptops or tablets, to connect freely to the internet.

Diaz Naranjo also said that as of the July 1, the price of one hour of internet will be reduced to US$2 from US$4.50. He said he was hoping that the new measure would increase the population's connectivity to the internet.

“The internet space is opening up here and I think this is a significant step,” Norges Rodríguez, a blogger and telecommunications engineer in Havana told the Guardian. “A year or two ago, we didn’t have anything like this.”

The news comes days after executives from the social media site Twitter visited Cuba and held talks with Cuban officials about expanding into the country. Twitter officials proposed that they would set up the infrastructure that let users tweet via texts. Officials from Google have also made similar approaches.

The latest development in the internet services in Cuba comes few weeks after the United States formally removed Havana from its list of terrorist countries, following decades of embargo and sanctions against the Latin American country. The removal from the list and the subsequent lifting of sanctions would allow Cuba and international companies, including ones in the U.S. to form trade deals and agreements.

  • Published in Cuba

Cuba isn't Afraid of New Technologies

The access to Internet and new communication technologies in Cuba must be focused on people’s training and culture, said today the Cuban president's adviser, Abel Prieto.

The island is not afraid of technology, said the official at a meeting with the youths of Havana University, and he remembered that the teaching plan developed in Cuba to make computing learning massive, according to Prensa Latina report.

He invited the youths to use the means offered by technological advances to convey a message filled with culture, technology in itself, is not harmful, he affirmed.

The meeting held at Sanguily Room in the Havana University, was also attended by the Computer Science and Communications vice minister, Wilfredo Gonzalez whom assured there weren’t any government policy that restrains the development, but the economic conditions are the ones that actually hinder development.

He commented that for Cuba there’s a digital breach between position 14 which we occupy, according to the statistics of the International Telecommunications Union, in the training of people who have knowledge on new technologies, and number 153, out of 157 countries, in the difficulties to access these technologies.

He also insisted in the efforts made by the government to move forward in the possibilities of getting access to these services.

On the other hand, the former agent of the Cuban State Security, Raul Capote, spoke on the banality and shallowness that generates consumerism around modern gadgets that facilitate the access to those new ways of communication.

He warned about the need of avoiding those manifestations in the Cuban youths to take advantage of those technologies to have a better Man, capable of exchanging feelings, we are more vulnerable as we isolate ourselves, he affirmed.

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