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  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Cuba,   

    Has Cuba opened the internet for all? 

    Has Cuba opened the internet?

    Here in America, many of us are glued to our screens for most of the day. Whether it’s for work, entertainment, or talking with friends we’re accessing the internet as if it was some magical unlimited resource. We even use it in remote places that in previous generations had trouble getting electrical or phone services. Now, imagine being only a few miles away from one of the world’s more cosmopolitan areas and only being able to use the internet for at most a couple of hours a day and you can only use it in certain areas that aren’t necessarily convenient to get to. That’s how the country of Cuba has been using its limited access to the internet.

    Yesterday, the Cuban government announced that it would be lifting the restrictions on having private wifi networks. The law is scheduled to take effect on July 29th. Previously, Cuban citizens could only access the internet in public wifi hotspots set up by the government that were usually in parks or on street corners. In order to use these hotspots, people would need to buy access cards that allows someone to use the internet for an hour for a fee. The current fee sits at $1 an hour.

    However, this doesn’t mean that Cuban citizens will start enjoying the internet the same way that we do. There is only one internet service provider in the country and it’s run by the Cuban government. In order to be able to use wifi in your home, you would still need to set up an antenna to access the public hotspots for your home router to access and would still need to buy the hourly access cards. While this isn’t the biggest leap forward for internet users in the Caribbean nation it is at least a step in the right direction.

  • Geebo 9:15 am on April 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Cuba, ,   

    Google’s new data center aims to make internet a better experience for Cubans 

    Google's new data center aims to make internet a better experience for Cubans

    Google recently announced they have opened a data center in Cuba, being the first American company to do so. Cuba’s internet is incredibly slow compared to other Western nations. Cuba receives its internet through an underground cable provided by the government of Venezuela. The distance between the countries is roughly 1300 miles. This would roughly be the equivalent of someone living in New York having an internet service provider whose only servers were in Dallas. While Google’s new data center won’t speed up current Cuban internet, it will make some content easier to access.

    Google’s servers in Cuba will fetch information through the existing Venezuelan cable but will then store it on their servers. This will make it much easier and a little faster for Cuban internet users to access popular or viral content.

    What hasn’t been discussed is how Google is going to get along with the Cuban government. While advances in freedom have been made in Cuba in recent years, it’s still not the most democratic country in the world. Cuba’s internet is still heavily regulated by the government. Google pulled out of China after the Chinese government made incessant censorship demands. Will the Cuban government ask the same of Google and if so, will Google abandon their Cuban project if the Cuban government pressures them into acting against the people?

  • Geebo 10:59 am on December 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Cuba,   

    Select Cuban citizens to get home internet 

    Select Cuban citizens to get home internet

    When we’re at home we just expect the internet to work. We expect to get on our tablets or laptops or phones and check our various daily messages with no delay. We use it to stream our entertainment and play video games. When the internet stops working we go into panic mode like the Apocalypse just happened. We restart the modem, the router and every connected device. When that doesn’t work we dread having to call customer service for fear of them telling us they’ll send out a technician in a few days which we consider the worst case scenario. All because we can’t post pictures of our lunch on social media. Now imagine living in Cuba where you can only get your internet at certain public hotspots for a substantial fee. Could you handle it? Probably not.

    This is how the people of Cuba have had to access internet for many years now. Now, with the decades long US embargo finally lifted, 2000 select citizens will be receiving home internet in downtown Havana. Due to the embargo, Cuba claims that they were unable to provide internet infrastructure until recently.

    This leads to two questions. First off, just because people will be receiving home internet will the government be heavily monitoring or censoring the Cuban net? Just because the embargo has been lifted and Fidel Castro is gone doesn’t mean that Cuba has become a haven of democracy. The second question is, will more internet access to Cubans start leading to a democratic Cuba? With being so close to the US and the fact that even the greatest national firewalls can be bypassed will this lead to Cubans using their new internet to organize democratic movements? That remains to be seen but it is a definite possibility.

    Now keep that in mind the next time you want to see what the latest Kardashian has posted on Instagram.

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