Ice Cream and Kilobytes
14ymedio, Marcelo Hernandez, Havana, 10 April 2017 – The large and
little-used park around the Coppelia ice cream parlor has a new function
as of a few days ago. The inauguration of a wifi zone for internet
access is looking to revitalize the ice cream stand, as iconic as it is
fallen into disgrace. Now, in the absence of those mythical 26 flavors,
the customers will have a serving of kilobytes on side, courtesy of the
Cuban Telecommunications Company (ETECSA).
Under the inclement sun, some curious came this week came in search of a
few hours of “free” navigation as had been mentioned in various official
media. The state monopoly only allowed access to the web at no cost
during the opening day, and then an hour of navigation again cost the
same as in the rest of these wireless parks: 1.50 CUC an hour (about
$1.50 US, the equivalent of nearly two days pay at the average wage).
The state monopoly only allowed access to the web at no cost during the
opening day and then an hour of navigation cost again 1.50 CUC
During two busy months, a brigade of construction workers installed
benches, planters, lights and three reflectors for the security of the
netizens. This last is one of the conditions most demanded in other
areas where ETECSA offers its Nauta wifi service, where users report
frequent thefts of telephones, tablets and computers, mainly at night.
Little by little word has spread and the place is beginning to fill with
faces that stare closely at a screen, people who speak animatedly by
videoconference and access resellers who, through the application
Connectify, offer a plunge into the great world-wide web for half the
It is hoped that soon, among Havanans, the word “Coppelia” will become
synonymous with social networks and digital sites, instead of the
mythical ice cream parlor that it once was.
Source: Ice Cream and Kilobytes – Translating Cuba –