HAVANA TIMES – The emblematic seaside promenade of Havana, popularly known as the Malecon, will before year-end offer pay-for wireless Internet connection, the official media reported on Wednesday.
The state company ETECSA announced that activation of the service is planned from Prado Avenue to the Fifth Avenue tunnel, thus covering a distance of eight kilometers of a wall that protects the city from the sea.
The malecon is one of the most popular places for international tourists and was chosen for its high “influx of Cubans, especially young people,” noted dpa news.
The monopoly telecommunications company said it has already identified the places along the wall where the service will be offered. Etecsa said the start of operations will depend on the time it takes to conclude the installation, which “will be complex due to the extension of Cuba’s most famous promenade”.
The new wireless access points to the Internet in this promenade will join the 200 already operating across the country and have tariffs of two CUC (2.30 USD) an hour.
Since 2015, the Cuban authorities have established wireless Internet zones located mainly in public parks across the country, claiming that 250,000 daily users (2.3 % of the Cuban population) connect through recharge coupons.
In recent months it has become commonplace to see images of people concentrated at the hot spots with their mobile phones, tablets and laptops connected to the Internet, mostly taking the opportunity to communicate with family and friends abroad with applications such as IMO, one of the most popular the island.
The company does not offer home Internet installations to ordinary Cubans, while some professionals such as doctors, official journalists, university professors and artists do have e-mail y/o Internet service at their residence.