Much awaited, the signing of the deal between Cuba and Google took place on Monday. The Cuba-Google deal means that internet users will gain faster internet access to Google content. Eric Schmidt, President Executive of Google, and Mayra Arevich Marin, President Executive of ETECSA signed the deal.
For the last 50+ years, there has been no direct data link between the U.S. and Cuba because of the embargo. The significance of the signing of this deal is that one of the obstacles to regular internet in Cuba has been removed.
Cuba is one of the least connected nations in the world. For those who can obtain access, it is also one of the most expensive. An hour’s connection to Wifi costs a minimum of two CUCs an hour and can only be connected to in public places such as parks and hotels. The Wifi connections are notoriously slow. Most people do not have the ability to connect from home unless they can afford the purchase of home internet access which costs from $500 to $800 to install.
Google will now be able to install servers in Cuba to house its most popular content such as the websites YouTube and Gmail. Connecting to these sites will now be up to ten times faster for people in Cuba. This is because signals will not have to transmit from Cuba through Venezuela to the closest Google server. Web content hosted by other companies is not affected.