Cuba Promises Internet for 50% of Population by 2020
EspañolThe Cuban government has promised that 50 percent of its population will have internet access in their homes and 60 percent from mobile devices by 2020, a US Department of State official reported on Monday.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Sepúlveda visited the Caribbean island last week and reported that there exists a “real potential” to make the internet faster and more accessible for more Cubans.
The US official visited Cuba to explain the new regulations that are to allow greater exports of software and IT equipment to Cuba.
Sepúlveda told press that he was seeking to facilitate the purchase of US computing technology by Cuban citizens, as well as to listen to Cuba’s priorities for the development of its communications infrastructure.
Since Havana and Washington announced the reopening of diplomatic ties in December 2014, the United States has made boosting the island’s connectivity a key priority.
The UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) fixed the same objectives in November 2014, placing Cuba at 125 out of 166 countries in terms of telecommunications capabilities.
The high costs of accessing the internet on the island have represented a significant obstacle for Cubans wanting to access the net. In an internet café, one hour on the web can cost as much as US$4.50, while the average monthly salary is between $20 and $30.
Cuba’s connection to the internet expanded in 2013 with the installation of a maritime cable between the island and Venezuela, but the country still has one of the lowest connectivity rates in the world.
Telephone company Etecsa revealed earlier in March that it is to install the first direct telephone line between Cuba and the United States in 15 years.