Friday, May 24, 2013

Second Segment of Fiber Optic Cable Connects to Cuba

Second Segment of Fiber Optic Cable Connects to Cuba
Translation posted 23 May 2013 13:00 GMT ·
Written byElaine Díaz
Translated by Marianna Breytman

The fiber optic cable, which is expected to improve Cuba's connectivity
to the Internet, is of utmost importance to the country, and every piece
of information continues to clarify the current state of this
technological infrastructure. In the past days, U.S. company Renesys
announced on its blog that during this week they "observed a second
non-satellite connection established for the Cuban state telecom, ETECSA
[Cuban State Telecommunications Company]".

In January of this year, Renesys stated that the ALBA-1 submarine cable
had begun to bring Internet traffic in the segment that connects Cuba to

According to Doug Madory, a Renesys employee:

esta vez un segmento diferente del cable submarino ALBA-1 se utiliza
para conectar Cuba a la isla vecina de Jamaica. A las 15:04 UTC del 13
de mayo de 2013, se observó que ETECSA comenzó a recibir el servicio
internacional de Internet a través de Cable & Wireless Jamaica

this time a different segment from the ALBA-1 submarine cable is being
used to connect Cuba to its neighboring island, Jamaica. At 15:04 UTC on
May 13, 2013, it was observed that ETECSA began receiving international
Internet service through Cable & Wireless Jamaica

Madory also confirmed that two weeks ago, during a presentation by
LACNIC 19 [es] in Medellín, Colombia, ETECSA representatives confirmed
the initial statements from Renesys. According to the employee, "it was
a pleasure meeting some of the people involved in this historic activation."

The description of the project [es] on the Cuba-Venezuela International
Telecommunications Systems confirms that the Cuba-Jamaica segment will
be used for "the purpose of restoration." As a result, Renesys believes
the activation could "help alleviate some minor connectivity problems
recently experienced by ETECSA."

Following the Cuban State Telecommunications Company's initial
statements in January 2013 regarding the operational nature of the fiber
optic cable and the start of several tests, a group of resident users on
the island took to social networks to discuss computerization and
increased Internet access in the country.

According to Daniel Salas [es], professor at the University of Havana:

Para irnos montando en el debate sobre cómo extender Internet en Cuba,
podríamos empezar por ir teniendo claro cuál es la situación de la
infraestructura nacional de comunicaciones, qué nodos enlaza la fibra
óptica nacional, cuál es la saturación de las centrales telefónicas y
los pares de cobre, qué tipos de soluciones tecnológicas estarían
disponibles y sus costos, y no estaría de más saber un poquito de las
cuentas de ETECSA.

In order to continue participating actively in the debate on how to
extend Internet in Cuba, we could start by clarifying the current
situation of the national communications infrastructure, which nodes the
fiber optic cable links, the saturation of central operator exchanges
and copper pairs, the types of technological solutions that would be
available and their costs, and it would not hurt to know a bit about the
ETECSA accounts.

Meanwhile, Cuban professor and researcher Milena Recio considered [es]:

Según la nota de ETECSA, se derivan dos posturas de política: 1) habrá
que sacar divisas de algunos servicios para repartir gratuidad en otros.
Dice: "aumentar los recursos en divisas, destinados a pagar el tráfico
de Internet". Es decir, se mantiene el esquema gratuidad; 2) se
multiplicarán las posibilidades de acceso, aunque no "automáticamente",
pero se multiplicarán. Es decir, no solo mejorarán las actuales. Ahora
bien, preguntas posibles ¿conectividad social, implica necesariamente
gratuidad? ¿qué parte de la infraestructura interna de
telecomunicaciones se priorizará en función de qué objetivos?

According to ETECSA's announcement, there are two political positions:
1) currency will have to be taken from certain services in order to
deliver free services in others. It says: "increase foreign exchange
resources, intended to pay for internet traffic." This is to say that it
maintains the free-of-charge scheme; 2) Access possibilities will
multiply, though not "automatically," but they will multiply. This is to
say that not only will the current ones improve. Now, possible questions
– does social connectivity necessarily imply a free-of-charge service?
which part of the internal telecommunications infrastructure will be
prioritized depending on which objectives?

The Cuban telecommunications company's late statement also motivated a
number of criticisms among bloggers. Blog Fanal Cubano reflects it as
follows [es]:

El sólo hecho de divulgar cuatro días antes esta propia nota, escueta,
pero rotunda, habría despojado a ETECSA de la responsabilidad de darle
un sesgo confirmativo al hecho, y nuestra entidad, cubana ciento por
ciento, hubiese emergido como fuente portadora de una noticia de alcance
mundial por su significado, en tanto victoria de la integración regional
sobre la política de cerco económico, comercial y financiero practicada
por los Estados Unidos contra Cuba desde hace más de medio siglo.

The mere fact of divulging this very brief yet emphatic announcement
four days earlier, ETECSA would have been stripped of the responsibility
of giving it a confirmatory bias, and our entity, one hundred percent
Cuban, would had emerged as the source for news of global reach because
of its significance, as much as it would have been a victory of regional
integration over the economic, commercial and financial siege of the
United States against Cuba for over half a century.

Cuba currently has a bandwidth of 323 Mbps (megabits per second) via
satellite for the entire island. A website can take several minutes to
open and even hours to see a video.
Creative Commons License
Written by Elaine Díaz · Translated by Marianna Breytman

No comments:

Post a Comment