Cuba starts pilot program to improve internet access

Cuba

Cuba has some of the lowest internet connectivity in the world.

The government has opened Wi-Fi hotspots around the country in attempt to get Cubans online.

But Cubans cannot connect to the internet at home. All that is starting to change with a pilot project in Havana.

CGTN’s Michael Voss reports.

Cuba starts pilot program to improve internet access

Cuba starts pilot program to improve internet access

Cuba has some of the lowest Internet connectivity in the world. The government has opened Wi-Fi hotspots around the country in attempt to get Cubans online. But Cubans cannot connect to the Internet at home. All that is starting to change with a pilot project in Havana. CGTN’s Michael Voss reports.

Access to the internet has come a long way in Cuba over the past two years with new Wi-Fi hotspots in parks and on street corners all over the island. But until now, very few Cubans were allowed their own connections at home.

Private restaurant owner Jose Antonio Perez is one of the latest to join this select club. He is one of 2,000 Havana residents taking part in a government-sponsored home internet pilot project.

His 15-year-old son, Antony, is the one who mainly goes online and is still teaching his father how to use the internet. It’s a basic service: the government provides the modem and cables and 30 hours a month of free access. Like so many Cubans, Anthony is mainly interested in social media.

Gift shop owner Sara Batista is also part of the project – she too is an internet novice. Her 12-year-old son, Jose, is also getting help from a neighbor who studied information technology at the university. With limited bandwidth, it’s fine for social media emails and Google searches but not streaming video or e-commerce.