Cuba: blank spot in the internet jungle

In the past two years, there have been steps towards greater access to the Internet in Cuba. These have included the activation of the ALBA-1 submarine cable, opening of Internet access points, and the introduction of mobile Internet service. Recently the Cuba regime has allowed for experiments with public WiFi access. Broad access to the Internet is still limited for a variety of reasons including government policies, price of service and outdated technology.

Cuba’s 2 connections. source Custom Connect Genius Database

Cuba is now connected through the Alba1 cable, satellite communication and a sea cable to Jamaica. Although it would be obvious to link the Alba1 to the large Miami Internet hub that connects US, South America and the Caribbean, the regime has decided to choose Venezuela as the landing point. This way the regime diminishes the dependency of its infrastructure on US policies. With Venezuela, they are among friends….

The US Department of Defense has announced to lay its own cable between Florida and Guantanamo Bay on Cuba. It is however doubtful that this connection will be opened for public use.

Cuba’s pledge to increase Internet access for their citizens is a very hopeful sign. We will have to wait and see what precisely this pledge entails to really understand its implications for the future.

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