Debating Internet in Cuba Ad Nauseum

Nonardo Perea

One of the pay-for WiFi hot spots in Vedado. Photo: Juan Suarez
One of the pay-for WiFi hot spots in Vedado. Photo: Juan Suarez

HAVANA TIMES — Every time my friends meet up at my place, we end up talking about the issue on everyone’s lips these days: Internet in Cuba, specifically the Wi-Fi hot zones that can be accessed through pre-paid cards, the easiest means we have to connect to the web.

The service leaves many unsatisfied because of its price, bearing in mind that, in other countries (even in the Third World), there are public spaces where the service is offered free of charge. Some of our questions the last time were:

Who is the provider of Wi-Fi equipment?

Who is the person responsible for this experiment?

Why aren’t we offered any details about the system on the nightly Round Table program?

Why, if Wi-Fi signals are transmitted by antennae and the signal is up in the air, in the same way radio and television function, do they charge such exorbitant prices for the service?

How long will it take for all of us to have access at home, without having to go out and sit on the curb or under a tree?

Pay-for WiFi in Centro Habana. Photo: Juan Suarez
Pay-for WiFi in Centro Habana. Photo: Juan Suarez

Why must users be denied privacy?

How hard would it be to set a monthly rate for unlimited Internet access while preventing illegal activities, such as the reselling of cards and the offer of one-CUC connections by other users?

Why is the antenna in the municipality of Marianao, on top of a high building, not have a more far-reaching signal and covers only one city block, when it could service much of the municipality?

How long will this experiment last?

Are the views of the people affected by all this being taken into consideration?

Lastly, what became of the blessed fiber-optic cable they brought over from Venezuela? Who benefits from all this?

Nonardo Perea

Nonardo Perea: I see myself as an observant person and I like to write with sincerity what I think and live first hand. I’m shy and of few words; thus it’s difficult for me to engage in conversation. For that reason, my best tool for communicating is writing. I live in Marianao, Havana and am 40 years old.

4 thoughts on “Debating Internet in Cuba Ad Nauseum

  • WTF does that have to do with Cuba? You Castro bootlickers are so bereft of a plausible defense of the Castros that the only thing that you have left is to criticize the US. Pathetic!

  • Just a matter of time. Wider access to Internet coming.

  • Home broadband in the US costs far more than elsewhere. At high speeds, it costs nearly three times as much as in the UK and France, and more than five times as much as in South Korea. Why?

  • I am in Starbucks in the Fisherman’s Wharf marina in San Francisco writing this. My phone automatically switches between WiFi and the Internet service included in my cell phone plan. Right now I’m using the FREE WiFi. It’s at least 1000 times faster than the service in Cuba. There is no reason the service available to me here in San Francisco is not available to my family and friends in Cuba. Except that the Castros don’t want Cubans to have the same level of access to information.

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