Google and Cuba signed an agreement to bring internet connectivity to the island. Under the terms of the deal, they’d create a cost-free connection between their networks for Cuba once the country can physically connect to a new, undersea fiber cable to be laid in the future. The agreement includes the creation of an engineering group to work out the logistics.
The cable would enable Cuba’s local network to connect faster to content hosted on Google servers. It would also reduce the Cuban government’s cost of connecting users to Google content, according to The Washington Post. Network owners like the Cuban telecom monopoly Etecsa now pay third-party operators fees for passing traffic to sites like YouTube, Google Maps and Google.com.
Currently, Cuba has one fiber connection running under the Caribbean to Venezuela. It doesn’t have sufficient capacity to support Cuba’s small but growing group of internet users.
Neither Cuban nor Google officials provided an estimated timeline for the new connection. That could take years, given the slow pace of Cuba’s bureaucracy and the effect of the U.S. trade embargo on the island, according to the account.
The embargo provides legal exceptions, allowing agreements to increase telecommunications capacity on the island. Google is already allowed to operate servers to store its content in Cuba. Comments? Email Us.
March 29, 2019