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6 Facts About Internet in Cuba

By    |   Friday, 13 Nov 2015 02:57 PM

"The Internet in Cuba is bad — really, really bad," wrote reporter Serena Marshall in an article for ABC News. She’s not kidding. Online access on the island country is painfully slow — where there's Internet access to begin with. Availability is limited and there are numerous obstacles to access it, not to mention limits on content.

Here are six facts about Cuba's Internet access:

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1. Cuba is the least connected country in the Americas.
The International Telecommunication Union ranks Cuba 125 out of 166 countries around the world for connectivity, and in last place in the Americas region. Broadband is practically nonexistent, and only 5 percent of Cuban households are connected.

2. It's not easily accessible.
Most Cuban citizens can only connect to the Internet at tourist Internet locations that charge a $5 to $10 per-hour fee to log on, or wait in line at government-run locations. Since Cuba's average monthly wage is somewhere around $20, paying that much for Internet access is out of the question.

3. Only certain individuals have access at work.
Government officials, approved journalists, academics, doctors, and engineers are among the few who can log on at their workplaces, Cuban Internet researcher Ellery Biddle told Mashable.

4. News goes from online to offline.
Those who do have Internet access sometimes take it upon themselves to distribute news and material that’s otherwise nearly impossible to come by. They download content like news and entertainment to DVDs or flash drives and pass it around to citizens, The Guardian reported. There are even businesses that sell digital packets of desirable material.

5. Internet activity is monitored.
Not everything is censored in Cuba. Many social networking sites are still permitted and U.S. news websites are accessible. However, YouTube and many activists' blogs are off limits. There are only two Internet providers in the country and the government monitors logins, histories, and more from Internet users, according to Freedom House.

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6. There is hope.
“There is real potential here as long as there is a will on the Cuban side,” a U.S. State Department official said, according to ABC. "So as long as the Cubans create an environment that's attractive to investment and attractive to deployment and attractive to the delivery of services, I believe that services will reach the island." There’s even a fiber-optic cable running to the country from Venezuela.

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"The Internet in Cuba is bad - really, really bad," wrote reporter Serena Marshall in an article for ABC News. She's not kidding. Online access on the island country is painfully slow - where there's Internet access to begin with.
cuba, internet, facts
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2015-57-13
Friday, 13 Nov 2015 02:57 PM
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