by Cuba Journal staff
The Cuban government has launched a search engine for websites it has indexed on the .cu domain extension. (Two letter country codes are assigned by ICAAN to virtually every sovereign nation in the world).
Called “Unified Contents for an Advanced Search” (“Contenidos Unificados para Búsqueda Avanzada, or “CUBA”), the search engine is meant to be the Cuban version of Google. There are currently more than 500,000 indexed pages and almost 7,000 .cu websites, according to Radio Cubana.
Internet users located in Cuba can access the search engine on redcuba.cu. The url is not accessible to users outside Cuba.
The CUBA project was developed at Cuba’s University of Information Science based on open source indexing technology.
Recently, Google offered free, island-wide wifi Internet access, but the Cuban government rejected the offer by suggesting it was an imperialist plot.
Ernesto Rodríguez Fernandez, the General Director of Computing in Cuba’s Ministry of Communications, said, “RedCuba is not a new network apart from what exists today, but the orderly integration of institutional and public networks; infrastructure , services and content, which also include the workstations belonging to the population while connecting and accessing to public services and content.”
Cuban state telecom monopoly Etecsa announced in June that it would open numerous WiFi hotspots around the island to provide Internet access at $2 per hour. Based on users’ experience with the service, it appears that Etecsa’s internet access is open and not restricted to the redcuba.cu url.
Click here to read “The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine” written in the 1990s by Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page while they were students at Stanford University. Their research provided the basic technology that became Google, Inc.