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Malecón To Become a Wifi Zone by Year End

wifi-in-cuba, ETECSA
The Malecón is to be the latest Wifi hotspot in Havana. Photo: Cuba Business Report staff

The very popular seawall known as the Malecón in Havana is to become a Wifi zone by year end. This was announced recently by ETECSA, the Cuban Telecommunications Company and the Cuban news agency ACN. While no exact date has been pinpointed yet, the crucial project is expected to be completed before the year closes.  It is one of the 30 Wifi projects earmarked for 2016. To date, 17 of 30 Wifi installations have been completed.  They will be completed once ETECSA acquires more equipment for zone set up.

Completion of the project is very challenging because of the size of the coverage area, Eudes Monier Núñez, ETECSA’s head of the Department of Marketing and Communication for the Havana office said. He was referring to the total coverage area which is about eight kilometers running from the Prado to the 5th Avenue tunnel entrance.

The Malecón, the famous boardwalk and seawall, is a daily melting pot of tourists and young Cubans who enjoy the boardwalk for walking, relaxing, mingling with friends, fishing, and perhaps swimming when the days get too hot.

With internet access soon to be made available to everyone in the vicinity of the Malecón and those who have the two CUCs per hour fee, heading to the Malecón will soon become a major social event.  Monier Núñez also added that connection points have already been identified, along with what equipment will be used. It is certainly a significant achievement for the country, aiming to boost communication and education among the people.

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Adding the Malecón Wifi zone is a positive step in the right direction to fulfiliing the government’s agenda to have “all Cubans”  connected to the Internet by 2020. Presently, according to another ETECSA spokesperson Iris Duran, every municipality in Havana has Wifi access, with some municipalities having several distinct locations covered.

As it sits right now, there is a Wifi zone for every 11,000 people in the Caribbean country.  This figure indicates a definitive need for more connectivity in line with government internet connectivity targets for 2020. Only 17 of the 30 Wifi projects for this year have been completed.  Internet addicts, small businesses and tourists are waiting.

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