Venezuela, Cuba to start laying fiber optic cable
CARACAS (AFP) – Installation of 1,630 kilometers (1,013 miles) of fiber
optic cable between Cuba and Venezuela will start Wednesday, Venezuela's
science and technology chief said.
Caracas is communist Cuba's closest ally in Latin America, and a leading
financial support through oil and trade deals.
Cuba claims that not having access to US Internet firms' services has
kept it from extending Internet access to all Cubans. But critics say
whatever bandwidth the government has available, most Cubans still
cannot gain free access to all information available on the web.
Venezuelan Science and Technology Minister Jesse Chacon said "starting
that day (Wednesday) we will be laying the cable which is a really vital
element of relations between the two countries."
"This is something that we hope will be ready in two years' time,"
Chacon said in a statement.
The hookup will have a 640-gigabyte capacity and multiply Cuba's ability
to connect by 3,000, experts from both countries say.
The project, set to lay cable from near La Guaira in Venezuela's Vargas
state to Siboney, outside the Cuban city of Santiago de Cuba, is
expected to cost 63.4 million dollars.
In June, the Cuban government authorized the state-run postal service to
outfit post offices to provide all Cubans Internet access, so far
limited mainly to a small number of professionals.
Connection in Cuba is by satellite only at the moment, which offers a
much narrower bandwidth and relatively high costs, according to the
Venezuela, Cuba to start laying fiber optic cable – Yahoo! News (13