If you walk through Cuba, you’ll see groups of people huddled around places with their cellphones held up to their faces. These people are online.
In order to use any internet, Cubans must buy an internet access card for about a dollar from Etecsa, the state-run telecommunications company, and then find a public hot spot. But this is changing allegedly. Tuesday, the Cuban government tested internet directly on mobile phones nationwide. The internet was free for the test, but Etecsa plans to sell mobile phone plans that include internet service.
The test started at 11 a.m. and concluded at 8 p.m., according to Ms. Sánchez. “The connection was very slow, with a lot of problems for stretches of time,” she said in an interview on Wednesday. “At one point the connection was dropped, but even so, it felt like a tiny window had been opened.”
Cubans could use only basic services, and it was very difficult to connect to Facebook, she said. Sources reported that privileged users, including official journalists, businessmen and diplomats, have been enjoying free internet from their cellphones for the last couple of weeks.
For now, most people stand around at the government hotspots paying a dollar for a sliver of internet and risk their phones and lives.
Garcia, S. E. (2018, August 15). For 9 Hours, Cubans Got Internet in an Unusual Place: Everywhere. Retrieved August 16, 2018, from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/15/world/americas/cuba-internet-mobile-phones.html