Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cuba plans to connect homes to Web eventually

Agencia EFE May 29, 2013 21:17

Cuba plans to connect homes to Web eventually

Havana, May 29 (EFE).- Cuba's government plans to bring the Internet
into people's homes, but that is not the "initial priority" of its
overall strategy to expand Web access, Communist Party daily Granma said

"Plans are in the works for Cubans to have a connection in their homes,
but the initial priority under the current circumstances will be the
collective access points so that with less investment we can reach a
larger number of people," Deputy Communications Minister Wilfredo
Gonzalez told the newspaper.

The only barriers on the island to private Internet use are
"technological and financial," he said in an interview.

While the activation in 2011 of an undersea fiber-optic cable linking
Cuba with Venezuela and Jamaica eased some of those technical
constraints, "immediate full Internet access is not possible given the
country's economic possibilities," Gonzalez said.

The deputy minister's remarks came a day after authorities revealed
plans to expand public Web access starting in June by opening new
Internet cafes nationwide.

That decision is part of Havana's official policy of facilitating
"social" access to the Web, even as private Internet use is still

The vast majority of Cubans do not have home Internet access, a
privilege reserved for around 100,000 doctors, journalists, academics,
intellectuals and artists.

"It won't be the market that regulates access to knowledge in our
country," Gonzalez said, adding that Cuba will launch mobile Internet
service "in the relatively near future."

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