Fiber Optics for Cuba?
By Ben Corbett | Wednesday, October 14, 2009 4:24 PM ET
It's so bizarre to think that on Dec. 25, 1900, the first international
long-distance phone call was placed between Key West, Florida and
The call was an experiment to see whether the human voice could actually
be carried over telegraph wires. Oh, and you'll never guess the first
words ever carried over international lines.
"I don't understand you."
Ah, those delicious ironies… Once in the vanguard, Cuba lags far
behind the rest of the globe in communications technology over a century
For instance, Cuba is now the only country in the Western Hemisphere
that isn't connected to the rest of the world by fiber optics
technology, and the only thing keeping the island from total isolation
is a slow, costly satellite service. But this may soon change, as a
Miami-based telecom firm, TeleCuba Communications Inc. just announced
plans to lay the first fiber optics cable to Cuba by 2011. That is, if
Cuba agrees to allow the link-up.
If laid, the cable will be able to carry 160 million simultaneous calls,
as compared to the once-functional copper cable from the 1950s that ran
between Key West and the fishing village of Cojimar, Cuba, the backdrop
for Ernest Hemingway's "Old Man and the Sea." That old cable could only
carry 144 simultaneous calls.
Given that Cuba is notorious for constant dropped international calls
that cost $3 per minute as well as ultra-slow Internet service, fiber
optics would be an absolute boon for Cuba, bringing the island up to par
with the rest of the world in advanced communications. Certainly can't
beat that noise.
Fiber Optics for Cuba? – Tonic (14 October 2009)