Cuba to Have Underwater Fiber Optic Cable by July

Havana, Jan 17 (Prensa Latina) Cuba announced that by July, it will have an underwater fiber optic cable that will increase its current international output capacity by 3,000 percent, but technological and financial gaps prevent it from having mass Internet in the short term.

The connectivity question will not be not solved overnight, because it costs money and requires other investments, Ramon Linares, First Deputy Minister of Informatics and Communications, told reporters recently.

Given that situation, he said, the priority is to continue creating collective centers for Internet access, in addition to boosting connections in the areas of scientific research, education and health.

The underwater fiber optic cable will link Cuba with Jamaica and Venezuela, and the French-Chinese company Alcatel Shanghai Bell will begin laying the cable in late January after the relevant studies.

Everyone who has a telephone should have, as a policy, the right to a connection, Linares said, adding that the low telephone density rate is one of the obstacles to Internet access.

Various domestic technical and financing questions must be resolved before Internet services can be provided, said Deputy Informatics and Communications Minister Boris Moreno said.

At a cost of 70 million USD, and covering a distance of 600,000 kilometers, the cable will overcome the obstacles created by U.S. hostility that prevent Cuba from benfiting from other cables, such as the Cancun-Miami connection, which is 32 kilometers away from the Havana seawall.

The connection will have a lifespan of 25 years and the investment will pay off in good time, said Reboredo Waldo, vice president of Gran Caribe Telecommunications, the Cuban-Venezuelan company that will run technical and commercial operations.

Once operational, the submarine cable with 640 gigabytes of output will allow Havana to multiply by 3,000 times the current speed transmission of data, images and voice, Reboredo said.

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