ETECSA Now Says No Wi-Fi with Internet in Santiago de Cuba

by Café Fuerte

Cuba's state monopoly telecommunications company ETECSA
Cuba’s state monopoly telecommunications company ETECSA

HAVANA TIMES — La Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba (ETECSA) denied on Monday that they would offer WiFi service with internet connection, as reported by the island’s official journalist association UPEC.

“ETECSA clarifies to all its customers that this information is false, and that it was not issued by this entity,” a company press note states.

The denial was immediately reproduced by the Communist Party official newspaper Granma, and digital sites including Cubasi and Cubadebate.

“ETECSA apologizes for any inconvenience caused by the erroneous information and reiterates to all its customers that each time a new service is to be offered it will promptly inform them through the official channels,” said the company.

According to a brief news item published Friday by Cubaperiodistas, site of the Cuban Journalists Association (UPEC), Santiago de Cuba province had been chosen by ETECSA to begin WiFi service in late January, using a facility that is currently undergoing refurbishment.

Only Intranet

ETECSA now says the only service that will operate is the highly limited local Cuban “Intranet” through the Youth Club network, which offers computer time but without access to the global network.

The original announcement published by the Cuban Journalists Association UPEC.
The original announcement published by the Cuban Journalists Association UPEC.

“We also inform that the WiFi service to be provided at the recreational Technological Park of Santiago de Cuba is also for navigation only on the “Intranet” and through its own Youth Club navigation network called “Tinored”, notes the state monopoly telecommunications company.

Cubaperiodistas, the official journalists’ site, had offered a more optimistic version.

“Users will be allowed to upload and download files on their cell phones, tablets or laptops and the initial speed will be one megabyte per second.” The price was stated to be 4.50 convertible pesos (CUC) an hour (equal to $5 USD).

What motivated the misinformation from an official site is unknown as Cubaperiodistas has offered no explanation. CaféFuerte had unsuccessfully attempted to confirm the news item with ETECSA the news broke on Friday.

4 thoughts on “ETECSA Now Says No Wi-Fi with Internet in Santiago de Cuba

  • Why is it a “bad comparison” when Cuba is on the losing end, but when you want to talk about crime in the streets, the lack of commercialization or even the frickin’ weather, and Cuba begins to look good, you are first in line to sing the Castros praises. Just sayin’….

  • Another bad comparison…..we live in the Rockies…30 km from town….we had slow like S L O W dial up internet until 8 yrs ago….now we have a dish…fairly expensive… usual a Cubans are moving so slowly….for a variety of reasons…we have different opinions on Cuba so I will go no further….we are off to Cuba again in a couple of weeks where I support a kids baseball team …bringing 8 doz balls….gloves and other equipment……in Trinidad de Cuba….

  • The one megabyte per second download that Cubaperiodistas reported translates to wireless speed of at about 8 megabits per second. The Starbuck’s near my house offers FREE WiFi access of nearly 1300 megabits (Mpbs) per second. In other words, what I can download for free in a blink of an eye in San Francisco, can take a couple minutes in Havana. Internet access in Cuba is not only super expensive, it is super slow as well.

  • So instead of insanely expensive wi-fi which very few Cubans could possibly afford, they will have no wi-fi …for free! Hasta siempre victoria!

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