Cuba's Undersea Internet Link To Venezuela Goes Live, But Most Citizens See No Benefit
The line also links to Jamaica, but unfortunately, state telecom company Etecsa has affirmed that Cuba won't be lifting its Internet restrictions now that the cable is there. In other words, only the government and select individuals will be able to actually take advantage of the new line, leaving most common citizens wanting. In part, the company stated: "Since last January 10, we began to perform quality testing of Internet traffic on the system. They are conducted using real traffic to and from Cuba. It will be necessary to make investments in the domestic telecommunications infrastructure and increase foreign exchange resources to pay for Internet traffic in order to achieve the gradual growth of a service we provide mostly for free today." The cable stretches nearly 1000 miles, and cost around $70 million to implement.
On one hand, this effort frees Cuba from the slow satellite access it had been using. But on the other, one has to wonder what the real use is. If the government is still controlling access to the Internet, and common citizens can't tap into it -- what's the point?