Cuba Denies It Will Allow Home Internet

Etecsa: Forget about home Internet for now. Photo: Raquel Perez

HAVANA TIMES — Cuba’s state monopoly telephone company, Etecsa, today denied reports that the island will offer Internet access for home users in the coming months, reported dpa news.

The company said that false news has been circulating in recent days. “This is “untrue and misinforms people.”

Different websites reported recently that the government of Raul Castro plans to authorize citizens in the coming months to contract private Internet connection from their homes at very high prices.

Etecsa denied the information and noted that the tariffs apply only to companies and organizations. “Any information on the opening of this service to households will be duly communicated by the company,” it said in a press statement.

Cuba has one of the lowest Internet access levels in the world. The population of the island need special permission to contract private access from home, granted to a select number of officials, artists, diplomats or foreign companies. These old style dial-up connections also suffer from very poor transmission speed.

The best access is available at some tourist hotels but with prices averaging US $8.00 to $10.00 an hour.

In mid-2013 Etecsa opened over 100 cafes throughout the country that improved public access to a segment of the population.  Those capable of paying $5.00 per hour in a country where the average wage is $20 a month includes, to a large extent, those with family members abroad that send significant remittances.

The government accuses the economic embargo imposed by the United States for the bad internet access on the island. Castro detractors argue that the lack of connectivity owes to a restrictive government policy.

In mid-2013 Etecsa announced that a fiber optic cable laid two years earlier from Venezuela had finally become operative. However, despite improvements in infrastructure, service continues way below regional and international standards for access to the network.

The government argues it prioritizes “social objectives” for Internet access, meaning state institutions.

10 thoughts on “Cuba Denies It Will Allow Home Internet

  • March 19, 2014 at 10:22 am

    The more you comment, the more you show how little you know about Cuba. The reality is that most Cubans know very little about what goes on inside Cuba and even less about what goes on around the world. I communicate almost daily with a handful of well-educated Cubans who live in Havana and in the provinces. It is not uncommon to share local and international news with them that they were completely not aware of. This information ‘blackout’ exists at all levels. From the latest telenovela scandal in Mexico to technology news in Cupertino to election news in Denmark, it is all less likely to be reported in Cuba.

  • March 19, 2014 at 7:47 am

    JG you can’t be that naive.

    Fact: Cuba is an authoritarian government:

    Fact: Knowledge is power, therefore Cuba does not allow the dissemination of information it does not control.

    Fact: Cubans are ingenious enterprising people who find clever ways to “resolver”. Much information, including Wikipedia, and popular video’s are passed on hand to hand via thumb drives. A practice the Castro regime has found hard to control.

    Never the less it is true that the embargo does have a derogatory technical effect on internet connections in Cuba, specifically the use and updating of private software, such as adobe systems (which are currently illegally used in Cuba). However the real problem remains ideological: the control and access of information. The very recent Cuban public blog platform Reflejos prohibits “transferring, transmitting or publishing content that is illegal, counterrevolutionary, damaging, threatening….”

    The strategies for applying censorship on the government sites are diverse and at the total discretion of those administrating these spaces. Some government newspaper sites have gradually been opening up to public participation, with various degrees of freedom of expression. Nonetheless, Trabajadores, the newspaper of the Cuban Workers’ Central, prohibits access to the commentary section of its web page via Cuba’s Intranet, opening it up only to those who have connection to Internet.

    The web site “Envio” ( A sandinista web site) had this to say; “One source who wished not to be identified assured Havana Times that the Youth Computer Club he belongs to in an eastern province offers very limited connection time and no possibility of accessing Facebook. But if the user declares that his/her purpose in going into a web site, including Facebook, is to “speak well of the Revolution and the five heroes” (five Cuban agents accused of being spies who are in prison in the United States), he/she is granted unlimited time.”

    I hope that was clear JG

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