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Ear to the Ground

Cuba to Get 3,000 Times as Much Internet

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Posted on Feb 15, 2011
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Much of the world’s data travels across the seafloor through special cables. This particular cable is part of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization’s system for monitoring the oceans for nuclear detonation.

Thanks to a new undersea cable linking the island nation to Venezuela, Cuba will get a 3,000-fold boost in its information bandwidth. As Read Write Web’s Curt Hopkins points out, the project indicates how valuable the Internet is, even to a country that has serious blogging anxiety.

Read Write Web:

The Venezuela-Cuba joint project has been advertised as a triumph against the United States embargo of the island nation. Venezuela’s Gran Caribe and Cuba’s Transbit hired a Chinese subsidiary of the French company Alcatel-Lucent to lay the cable at a cost of $70 million. It took 19 days for the specialized cable-laying ship, Île de Batz to make the journey from Venezuela.

The project is an indication of how important the Internet is, even to countries whose relationship to communications is antagonistic. Currently, virtually no private Cuban citizens can secure an Internet connection. To blog, Cuba’s small blogger community must copy their posts onto a thumb-drive and sneak into a dollar-only hotel to post, or to email the post to compatriots outside the country.

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By tomack, February 17, 2011 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment

They’ve already tapped into it; it’s done at the plant now.

Woopee, Hulu and YouTube now available.

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By Chris Herz, February 17, 2011 at 12:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why are US commentators so concerned for Cuba when their own country has far less Internet access than even many second tier countries?
In the USA bandwidth is severely limited and restricted to those with fairly good income, like myself.
Fix your own problems and then worry with those of others.

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By rollzone, February 16, 2011 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment

hello. it is for media propaganda control. when do we
send them the computers?

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By Diani Barreto, February 16, 2011 at 8:19 am Link to this comment
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A question comes to mind in light of the recent activity in the Internet concerning the possibility of popular revolts in Cuba inspired by the Revolution in Egypt. Considering the fact that Cubans in Cuba have one of the lowest density stats of Internet connectivity in the Western Hemishere, insiders in Egypt said, Mubarak’s great downfall was the fact he hadn’t censored the Internet. When the hailed cable finally arrives, will Cubans have access to you tube, FB and twitter, to their own blogs? Or will only serve the repressive organs of the state?

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, February 16, 2011 at 7:18 am Link to this comment

I wonder how long it will be before the US Intel agencies try to tap into it?

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