Cuba’s state telephone company will allow mobile phone customers to use the Internet via a new 3G network, starting on Thursday. But as with previous tech advances in the island nation, only those who can afford it will be able to take advantage of the access — which remains under the control of the autocratic government.Phones have emerged as a key method of accessing the Internet in Cuba. After all, it was only 10 years ago that the Castro government lifted its ban that prohibited regular citizens from buying computers, and Internet access in private homes was rare before 2016.
With a population of more than 11.1 million people, Cuba currently has 5.3 million mobile lines and 1.3 million landlines, according to the phone monopoly ETECSA, or the Telecommunications Company of Cuba S.A.
It provides mobile service through nearly 800 3G base stations and more than 1,000 2G stations.
ETECSA says its new offering will “expand the possibilities of Internet access as part of the process of computerization of the Cuban society.”
That likely will be welcome news to many Cubans, who live in a country that the nonprofit rights monitor Freedom House calls “one of the world’s least connected and most repressive environments for information and communication technologies.” Read More