Cuba to keep Internet limits after fiber optic cable
13 hours ago
HAVANA (AFP) — Cuba will continue to limit Internet access even after a
fiber optic cable linking the island with Venezuela comes online in
2010, a top official said.
The new cable is 1,550 kilometers (960 miles) long and will dramatically
increase the island's level of connectivity, according to officials.
"We believe that the most responsible policy is to privilege collective
access" to the Internet, said Boris Moreno, deputy minister of computer
science and communication.
Nevertheless, there is a desire for "larger number of citizens to have
Internet access," technical and economic conditions allowing, Moreno
told the daily Juventud Rebelde.
But he warned that the new fiber optic cable "will not necessarily
decrease the price the country pays for connection to international
Because of the US trade embargo, Cuba connects to the Internet via
satellite. The government says the limited bandwidth forces them to
"prioritize" Internet access for "social use" purposes, with
universities, companies and research centers prioritized.
The US embargo bans Cuban access to underwater Internet cables, the
closest of which runs from Miami to Cancun, Mexico, a mere 32 kilometers
(20 miles) from Havana.
Dissidents say the government's true goal is to control access to
Moreno said Cuba, with a population of around 11.4 million, has 1.4
million Internet users, and that by the end of 2008 there were 630,000
computers, a 23 percent increase over 2007.
In July, the head of the US interest section in Havana, Michael Parmly,
said that Washington would allow US companies to connect Cuba to their
"The only thing that is missing is for the Cuban government to lift its
restrictions, loose its fear and begin to trust its own people," he said.