Cuba activates high-speed Internet

Jan. 25, 2013 at 7:10 PM

HAVANA, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Cuba is now connected to the global Internet for the first time with a high-speed cable, state telecommunications company Etecsa has confirmed.

A fiber-optic cable connecting Cuba to the Internet via Venezuela was completed in February 2011, but testing of the line only began this month, the BBC reported.

Government and research institutions are expected to be the first to make use of the $70 million connection; most Cubans currently have to avail themselves of slow and costly satellite services to go online.

That may be the status quo for some time, as Etecsa said high-speed browsing is unlikely to become widely accessible for some time.

Cuba's infrastructure needs building up, it said, so that Internet access could be offered "gradually" and for "social purposes."

The high-speed Alba-1 cable is a joint venture between the state-owned telecommunications entities of Venezuela and Cuba, with Cuba saying the U.S. trade embargo prevented a link-up to existing American underwater cables.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
WikiLeaks offering $50K for video of Afghan hospital bombing
Murdoch sorry for implying Obama's not a 'real black president'
Hillary Clinton comes out against Trans-Pacific trade deal
Reid sues exercise companies over eye injury
Lumber Liquidators to pay $10M in DOJ settlement