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Thursday, 15 December 2016 10:26

Google to provide faster Internet for Cuba

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An agreement signed between Google and the Cuban government Cuba aimed at improving its internet speed. The deal will allow the internet giant to provide faster access to its data by installing servers on the island that will store much of the company's most popular content. The deal will now give Cubans access to a network called Google Global Cache that stores data and content on servers located a relatively short distance from the island nation. Now Cubans will have access from sites that Google administers like Gmail, Google Drive and YouTube.

However, home connections remain illegal for most Cubans and the government charges the equivalent of a month's average salary for 10 hours of access to public wi-fi spots with speeds frequently too slow to download files or watch streaming video.

Cuba has one of the lowest Internet speeds and connectivity in the world. It’s no surprise Cuba is considered the “least connected” country in the Americas, with the Geneva-based ITU ranking the country 125th out of 166 countries worldwide in telecommunications development.

The Google deal was announced less than a week after Cuba gave three US cruise companies permission to begin sailing to the island next year. Officials familiar with the negotiations say other deals, including one with General Electric, are in the works.

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