Informacion economica sobre Cuba

Miami firm plans to lay first US-Cuba fiber line, possibly reducing cost
of calls, Internet
By PETER SVENSSON , Associated Press
Last update: October 13, 2009 – 3:47 PM

NEW YORK – A small Miami-based company said the U.S. government has
given it permission to lay the first optical communications fiber from
the U.S. to Cuba. That could drastically cut the cost of calling the
island nation and make the Internet more accessible to Cubans.

Treasury Department officials were unavailable to confirm that TeleCuba
Communications Inc. has received approval, which is necessary even
though the Obama administration eased long-standing restrictions on
telecom links to Cuba in April.

TeleCuba said Tuesday that its cable will be operating by the middle of
2011. It still needs final permission from the Cuban government to land
the cable.

A government official in Cuba, speaking on condition of anonymity
because he is not authorized to speak publicly, said Cuba has been
waiting for the U.S. to approve a "group of companies" seeking to build
telecommunications infrastructure. But the official could not confirm
whether Cuba would ultimately give them permission to enter the market.

Cuba is the only nation in the Western Hemisphere that is not linked to
the outside world by fiber optics. Instead, it relies on slow, expensive
satellite links. While the cable could make calling very cheap, it would
be up to the Cuban government to set rates, and it could keep
restrictions on Internet access as well.

The government of Venezuela, a Cuban ally, has announced that it is
building a fiber to Cuba, which could beat TeleCuba by getting to the
island next year. But construction hasn't started, and TeleCuba has the
advantage of a much shorter route: 110 miles, compared to 966 miles from
Venezuela.

"We might get into a little race there with them," said Luis Coello, CEO
of TeleCuba.

TeleCuba projects the costs of its fiber at $18 million, which will be
financed by private investors, while Venezuela said this summer that it
is planning to spend $70 million.

Miami firm plans to lay first US-Cuba fiber line, possibly reducing cost
of calls, Internet | StarTribune.com (13 October 2009)
http://www.startribune.com/science/64111347.html


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