Cuban people were recently able to enjoy Wi-Fi service at 35 public spaces in several of the island-state cities which have been long-isolated by the United States with a trade embargo.
(Soundbite) Jose Antonio Garcia, Engineer
“I find it very good. It is an option that we should have had long time ago. I think it very good for we all can communicate with others near or far.”
The state-owned telecommunication operator ETECSA started offering the service last Wednesday costing two U.S. dollars per hour of browsing. This is still a costly service as the average Cuban earns 30 U.S. dollars each month.
(Soundbite) Magela Campos, Actress
“I think that it is an opportunity mainly for the youths in the sense that the country opens up a little more and helps them have information about the world.”
The spots with Wi-Fi service were buzzing especially with young people on their smart phones, tablets and laptops.
(Soundbite) Erian Villalta, Student
“I have entered several web pages and visited Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. It works well.”
ETECSA is now studying the possibility of implementing a household Wi-Fi service but has mentioned no certain date.
In 2013, only 3.4 percent of Cuban homes had an Internet connection. This is one of the lowest in the world, according to the International Union of Telecommunications.