Human Rights in Cuba

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Cuba Denies It Will Allow Home
March 17, 2014

HAVANA TIMES — Cuba’s state monopoly telephone company, , today
denied reports that the island will offer Internet access for home users
in the coming months, reported dpa news.

The company said that false news has been circulating in recent days.
“This is “untrue and misinforms people.”

Different websites reported recently that the government of
plans to authorize citizens in the coming months to contract private
Internet connection from their homes at very high prices.

Etecsa denied the information and noted that the tariffs apply only to
companies and organizations. “Any information on the opening of this
service to households will be duly communicated by the company,” it said
in a press statement.

Cuba has one of the lowest Internet access levels in the world. The
population of the island need special permission to contract private
access from home, granted to a select number of officials, artists,
diplomats or foreign companies. These old style dial-up connections also
suffer from very poor transmission speed.

The best access is available at some hotels but with prices
averaging US $8.00 to $10.00 an hour.

In mid-2013 Etecsa opened over 100 cafes throughout the country that
improved public access to a segment of the population. Those capable of
paying $5.00 per hour in a country where the average wage is $20 a month
includes, to a large extent, those with family members abroad that send
significant remittances.

The government accuses the economic imposed by the United States
for the bad internet access on the island. Castro detractors argue that
the lack of connectivity owes to a restrictive government policy.

In mid-2013 Etecsa announced that a fiber optic cable laid two years
earlier from had finally become operative. However, despite
improvements in infrastructure, service continues way below regional and
international standards for access to the network.

The government argues it prioritizes “social objectives” for Internet
access, meaning state institutions.

Source: Cuba Denies It Will Allow Home Internet – Havana Times.org –
http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=102475

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