Cuba, amid the censorship, wades into WiFi

January 10, 2015
Cubans visit a cybercafe in Havana on June 21, 2013

Cuba, where Internet access is largely limited to government employees and pricey pay-by-hour public access, plans to start offering wireless service for the first time this month, officials said Saturday.

Wireless Internet connections—for laptops, smartphones or tablets—will get a limited rollout through state-run Etecsa in Cuba's second-largest city, Santiago de Cuba.

"Santiago (de Cuba) has been picked by Etecsa to test wifi service late this month," read a statement on the website of the Union of Cuban Journalists, a government association.

Cuba, the only communist-run country in the Americas, allows some locals such as journalists, doctors and athletes to have Internet access at home.

But anyone who wants their own router—for a WiFi signal—needs permission from the Communications Ministry first.

Tech-savvy young Cubans often piggy-back on the signals of hotels and government offices.

The journalists' site said WiFi access—unclear where for now—will cost $4.5 an hour. That is the same rate, unaffordable to many, as that offered at public Internet cafes.

Most Cubans make under $20 a month.

Last year, 3.4 percent of homes in Cuba had Internet access —- one of the world's lowest rates, according to international technology authorities.

Explore further: Internet in Cuba only for the rich—or resourceful

Related Stories

Internet cable from Cuba to Jamaica comes online

May 21, 2013

A new branch of the Venezuela-to-Cuba undersea fiber-optic cable has reportedly come online, linking the island to nearby Jamaica, increasing Cuba's potential international communications bandwidth and providing a backup ...

Report: Cuba using undersea fiber-optic cable

January 21, 2013

Cuba apparently has finally switched on the first undersea fiber-optic cable linking it to the outside world nearly two years after its arrival, according to analysis by a company that monitors global Internet use.

Recommended for you

Cryptocurrency rivals snap at Bitcoin's heels

January 14, 2018

Bitcoin may be the most famous cryptocurrency but, despite a dizzying rise, it's not the most lucrative one and far from alone in a universe that counts 1,400 rivals, and counting.

Top takeaways from Consumers Electronics Show

January 13, 2018

The 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, which concluded Friday in Las Vegas, drew some 4,000 exhibitors from dozens of countries and more than 170,000 attendees, showcased some of the latest from the technology world.

Finnish firm detects new Intel security flaw

January 12, 2018

A new security flaw has been found in Intel hardware which could enable hackers to access corporate laptops remotely, Finnish cybersecurity specialist F-Secure said on Friday.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.