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Status Update of the Internet in Cuba

Update on the internet in Cuba. Image: Pixabay

Five years ago, only 3.4 percent of the Cuban population had internet connectivity. The country had one of the lowest internet connectivity rates in the world. At that time, the Cuban government said they intended to have all Cubans connected to the Internet by 2020. The year 2020 is upon us. So what’s the status of internet connectivity today?

Out of the total Cuban population of 11 million-plus people, more than six million Cubans own cellphones today; 70% of these phones are smartphones.

Telecommunications company ETECSA is working on activating 200,000 more mobile lines and 634,000 new mobile internet connections this year.

By the end of 2019, over 143,000 homes connected to the internet via the Nauta Hogar network. This represents a growth of more than 73,000 customers when compared to 2018.

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As of December 1, 2019, there are 986 WiFi hotspots across the country.

Since last July, Cubans have been importing routers, registering equipment, and creating private WiFi networks.

ETECSA’s president Mayra Arevich said the company is expanding 4G technology. This year, at least 20,000 more families will have internet access at home.

Cuba’s Ministry of Communications is studying the importation of computer equipment.

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Cuba’s President Miguel Díaz-Canel said the focus should be on national production. He gave the example of the made-in-Cuba ‘Gedeme’ laptop brand. The Gedeme laptop is a partnership between the Chinese company Haier and Cuba’s University of Computer Sciences.

Among the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for developing countries is to provide universal and affordable internet access by 2020. Cuba has made and continues to make good progress on attaining these goals, recognizing the importance of digital technology for national development.

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