Thursday, February 15, 2007

Cuba: Internet Capacity to Increase by 1000 Times

There's been a lot of buzz lately about Cuba and the internet, set off largely by remarks taken out of context this week by Cuba's internet czar. What has received less attention is an announcement buried in a recent Cuba-Venezuela agreement, that portends major positive change on the island.

International Herald Tribune
HAVANA: A new undersea fiber-optic cable from Cuba to Venezuela should be finished within two years, a Venezuelan communications official said Thursday, dramatically expanding Cuba's internet and telephone capacity.

Julio Duran, president of state-run Telecom Venezuela, told The Associated Press that the deal signed in late January calls for a line with a capacity of 160 gigabytes per second.

That's well over 1,000 times the capacity of Cuba's current satellite-based internet link, which was listed as 65 megabytes per second on upload and 124 megabytes a second on download by Cuban Communications Minister Ramiro Valdes.

It will break through what Cuban officials describe as choking restrictions imposed by the U.S. comical embargo on Cuba, which they blame for blocking possible connections with existing privately owned fiber-optic lines in the region.

"It's a very important project, not only for Venezuela and Cuba, it's for all Latin American countries," Duran said during an interview at an informatics convention in the Cuban capital, Havana.

While you are at it, check out this article for more background on how the US embargo prevents Cuba from downloading and buying necessary software (even a joint venture company in Cuba could not buy software from a non-US company).



Blogger jsb said...

Three journalists who didn't mince words about the dictatorship were thrown out of Cuba.

4:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A step in the right direction. Now what we should all push for is greater, uncensored access to the internet. All the bandwith in the world isn't worth much unless people have unrestricted rights to access all opinions. That's the beauty of the internet.

-A Human Rights Lawyer

6:26 PM  

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