Cuba to launch first public Wi-Fi hotspots

June 18, 2015

HAVANA, Cuba – Cuba announced plans Thursday to open 35 public Wi-Fi hotspots and halve the price to go online, seeking to expand Internet access in one of the world’s least-connected countries.

State telecoms firm Etecsa said the hotspots, a first for the communist island, would be set up nationwide and begin service in July.

It is “a first step toward increasing Internet access,” Etecsa communications chief Luis Manuel Díaz told a state newspaper.

Etecsa had previously offered public Wi-Fi in a small pilot program, and unstable illegal connections periodically appear and disappear in Cuba.

To access the official hotspots, users will have to create an account with Etecsa for $1.50 and pay an hourly connection fee.

Etecsa also announced it was reducing the price to access the Internet to $2 an hour, down from the current promotional rate of $2.50 and the long-time rate of $4.50.

It did not say whether the same rate would apply to the new Wi-Fi connections.

Since 2013, Cuba has had 155 public Internet cafes where users can go online for the hourly rate.

But the price is steep in a country where the average salary is $20 a month.

Home Internet access is restricted to members of certain professions, such as journalists, doctors and students.

According to the International Telecommunications Union, just 3.4 percent of Cuban homes were online in 2013.

President Raúl Castro’s government has said it wants all Cubans to have Internet access by 2020.

U.S. President Barack Obama has named increased Internet access for the island as one of the goals of the historic thaw between Washington and Havana announced last December.

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Morning-after pill can now be sold without a prescription in Costa Rica
Costa Rica
41 views
Costa Rica
41 views

Morning-after pill can now be sold without a prescription in Costa Rica

Alejandro Zúñiga - May 18, 2019

Levonorgestrel, marketed commercially as "Plan B" and commonly known as the morning-after pill, can legally be sold without a prescription…

Pic of the Day: A busy day in San José
Pic of the Day
2 views
Pic of the Day
2 views

Pic of the Day: A busy day in San José

The Tico Times - May 18, 2019

Costa Rica wants to reorganize its chaotic transport system and start decarbonizing its economy with a modern electric train through…

MINAE raises alarm about drug trafficking in Costa Rica’s protected land
Costa Rica
69 views
Costa Rica
69 views

MINAE raises alarm about drug trafficking in Costa Rica’s protected land

Rita Valverde / Semanario Universidad - May 17, 2019

The Environment and Energy Ministry (MINAE) has requested assistance from the Public Security Ministry in the face of increased drug…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!