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article imageCuba opens up to the Internet with increased Wi-Fi access

By Daniel Woods     Jun 20, 2015 in Technology
As Cuba slowly opens up to the world, its government moves to spread public Internet access, with the creation of 35 Wi-Fi hotspots.
The Cuban government has announced plans to establish an island wide network of Wi-Fi hot spots. Then new expanded service will be available from the beginning of July.
Cuba is one of the most unconnected countries in the world when it comes to Internet access. The purchase of computers was only made legal in 2007 and by 2012, Cuba still had a small penetration rate of 25.6 percent.
The state run telecommunications company will set up Internet Wi-Fi access at 35 locations around the island, and also intends to cut the cost of connection by half, from $4.50 to $2 per hour.
But in a country where average salaries are just $20 a month, this is still very expensive.
Internet speeds will also be capped to 1MB per user, and only 50–100 users can be online at any one time.
Home Internet access is still illegal for many Cubans, although some have managed to usurp these restrictions through use of satellite connections paid for by friends and relatives outside the country.
The Obama administration has overseen a thaw in relations with Cuba, ånd U.S. regulations have been relaxed in order to foster the growth of communication ties with its one-time Cold War adversary.
US President Barack Obama shakes hands with Cuba's President Raul Castro on the sidelines of th...
US President Barack Obama shakes hands with Cuba's President Raul Castro on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas in Panama City, on April 11, 2015
Mandel Ngan, AFP/File
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