• Cielo Vista

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

Amazon adding 2,000 new jobs in Costa Rica
Costa Rica
681 views
Costa Rica
681 views

Amazon adding 2,000 new jobs in Costa Rica

Alejandro Zúñiga - June 26, 2019

Amazon executives announced Wednesday the creation of 2,000 new jobs in its Costa Rica offices. The Seattle, Washington-based company said…

American Airlines launching direct flights from New York to Costa Rica
Costa Rica
1382 views
Costa Rica
1382 views

American Airlines launching direct flights from New York to Costa Rica

Alejandro Zúñiga - June 26, 2019

Big Apple, meet Pura Vida. Beginning in November, American Airlines will launch new direct routes between New York's John F.…

Earthquake in Costa Rica was ‘un despiche total,’ Tico says
Earthquake
6199 views
Earthquake
6199 views

Earthquake in Costa Rica was ‘un despiche total,’ Tico says

Alejandro Zúñiga - June 26, 2019

Leave it to Costa Ricans to turn an unnerving nighttime earthquake into immediate fodder for a nationwide joke. After a…

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