Cuba slashes internet costs

December 19, 2016
Cuba has some 900 state-run internet cafés and 200 wifi hotspots, but connection costs are prohibitively expensive for most

Cuba cut the price of internet access by 25 percent Monday, but getting online still costs more than a day's wages for the average worker in one of the world's least connected countries.

State telecommunications company Etecsa said an hour of would now cost $1.50, down from $2.

But that is still a small fortune in a country where the average salary is $29 a month.

Cuba has one of the lowest internet access rates in the world.

One of US President Barack Obama's stated goals in announcing an historic rapprochement with the communist island in December 2014 was to improve Cubans' internet access.

Last year, just one-third of Cubans went online, according to official statistics.

The country has some 900 state-run internet cafés and 200 wifi hotspots. But connection costs are prohibitively expensive for most.

Only restricted professions such as journalists and doctors are allowed internet service at .

But Etecsa said it was considering a policy change.

It is preparing to give 2,000 Havana residents home connections in a two-month "experiment," said Etecsa official Ana Maria Mendez.

The goal is to "evaluate, in a real-world scenario, the possibilities" for expanding home internet use, she said.

Explore further: Cuba denies previously reported WiFi rollout

Related Stories

Cuba denies previously reported WiFi rollout

January 13, 2015

Cuba will not begin offering wireless service despite reports of a planned WiFi rollout in its second-largest city, Santiago de Cuba, state-run telecommunications provider Etecsa said Tuesday.

Cuba, amid the censorship, wades into WiFi

January 10, 2015

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.

Cuba's new wifi hotspots attract eager users

July 3, 2015

Near the popular Hotel Habana Libre in Cuba's capital, a gaggle of young people on cellphones, tablets and laptops log onto the new wifi hotspot—a small milestone in one of the least connected countries.

Cuba moves to expand WiFi service slightly

January 13, 2015

Cuba's telecommunications company says that it will offer WiFi service in a public park in the country's far east but only for access to the island's restricted Cuba-only intranet.

Havana wants Internet for 'all Cubans' by 2020

April 2, 2015

Havana announced Thursday it wants "all Cubans" to be connected to the Internet by 2020, a goal the United States says will be difficult given the government's communications monopoly.

Recommended for you

Virtually modelling the human brain in a computer

April 19, 2018

Neurons that remain active even after the triggering stimulus has been silenced form the basis of short-term memory. The brain uses rhythmically active neurons to combine larger groups of neurons into functional units. Until ...

'Poker face' stripped away by new-age tech

April 14, 2018

Dolby Laboratories chief scientist Poppy Crum tells of a fast-coming time when technology will see right through people no matter how hard they try to hide their feelings.

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.