Tags: google-cuba | deal | wireless

Google-Cuba Deal at Least a Start for a 'Wireless' Island Nation

Image: Google-Cuba Deal at Least a Start for a 'Wireless' Island Nation

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt beside portrait of Fidel Castro. (YAMIL LAGE/AFP/Getty Images)
 

By    |   Tuesday, 13 Dec 2016 08:31 AM

A Google-Cuba deal signed this week will allow the Internet search giant to install computer servers there to allow for faster service, but the island nation remains hobbled by its refusal to let U.S. companies put in wiring and infrastructure needed for better access, citing national security.

The deal will allow users quicker access to the Google Global Cache network, which stores content like YouTube and Gmail, reported Reuters.

The deal was formalized with Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google's parent company Alphabet Inc., signing it with Mayra Arevich Marin, president of Cuba's telecommunications monopoly ETECSA.

"This deal allows ETECSA to use our technology to reduce latency by caching some of our most popular high-bandwidth content like YouTube videos at a local level," said Marian Croak, Google's vice president of access strategy and emerging markets, and Brett Perlmutter, head of strategy and operations of Google Cuba, in a company blog post.

"This in turn means Cubans who already have access to the internet and want to use our services can expect to see an improvement in terms of quality of service and reduced latency for cached content."

Google said it started working with Cuba in 2014 to bring some of its products to the island, including Google Chrome, Google Play, and Google Analytics. Earlier this year, Google said it allowed Cuban users the ability to personalize their experience on Chrome with free extensions and themes.

"Taken together, all these projects are tied to Google's core values to make the world's information useful and accessible to everyone regardless of cost, connectivity, and language barriers," said Google.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reported, per the Wall Street Journal, that mobile phones, Wi-Fi hotspots, and broadband connections to homes in Cuba have increased recently. The number of people with daily access to the Internet doubled last year to 150,000.

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A Google-Cuba deal signed this week will allow the Internet search giant to install computer servers there to allow for faster service, but the island nation remains hobbled by its refusal to let U.S. companies put in wiring and infrastructure needed for better access, citing national security.
google-cuba, deal, wireless
308
2016-31-13
Tuesday, 13 Dec 2016 08:31 AM
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