Sunday, June 29, 2014

Google Chairman Visits Cuba

Google Chairman Visits Cuba / 14ymedio
Posted on June 28, 2014

The purpose of the visit is "to promote the virtues of a free and open

14ymedio, Havana, 28 June 2014 – For two days several representatives of
the giant Google, including its executive chairman, paid an official
visit to Cuba. With the objective "to promote the virtues of a free and
open Internet," four well-known faces of the American company held
meetings with the official sector and also with the alternative scene
dedicated to technology and the digital world.

Jared Cohen, Brett Perlmutter, Dan Keyserling and Eric Schmidt – the
latter Google's executive chairman – met with young people at the
polytechnic schools, and this Saturday they toured the University of
Information Sciences (UCI). On Friday night they also contacted the
editors and reporters of our digital daily 14ymedio.

The visit took months of preparation and was the first time a
representative of Google had come to Havana to talk about technology and
access to the Internet. In 2013, Eric Schmidt mentioned his desire to
visit the Island in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. At that
time he said he would like to visit the Island to promote the free flow
of thought via the Internet and noted that Cuba was "at the top of the
list" of his priorities.

During the official program, the visitors were able to see the desire of
young people for more open access to the web. They also felt encouraged
by the technological and computer science potential on the Island,
although it is very limited right now because of problems with Internet

In 2011, a fiber optic cable was installed between Cuba and Venezuela to
facilitate access to the Internet. Three years after the cable
installation was completed there is still no home access to the world
wide web and one hour's connection from a public place costs a third of
a month's salary.

The hope of many Cubans lies in the possibilities of connecting through
Google's balloon-based Project Loon, which will bring the Internet to
several areas of the planet. However, the installation of these balloons
must be approved and authorized by local authorities, a difficult hurdle
in the case of Cuba.

Source: Google Chairman Visits Cuba / 14ymedio | Translating Cuba -

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