By the Cuba Journal staff
Cuba has announced that it will be broadening public internet access capabilities by equipping government-run internet centers with Wi-Fi, according to CBC.
It will also be reducing the cost of the use of such sites by over 50-percent, and while a $0 per hour fee will remain, this price cut represents a slight loosening on communication restrictions in Cuba.
35 of these internet centers exist throughout the country, but until now the price per hour for Wi-Fi has been highly unaffordable for most Cubans, who are legally prohibited from setting up internet access in their homes.
Young Cubans in Havana, however, have been able to circumnavigate some of the restrictions by purchasing iPhones with applications downloaded from the computers of private tech-vendors.
These new developments come in light of President Raul Castro’s government’s recent announcement that it aims to provide all Cubans with Internet access by 2020.
Though there remains a long road ahead for Cuba in establishing widespread network access, Twitter has sought a temporary solution that will afford Cubans further online freedoms.
Politico reports that Twitter’s director of global public policy, Colin Crowell, is in talks with representatives from the US’ Cuban Interests Section in Washington, with the objective of establishing a short code– a four-or-five digit number that would allow Cubans to send tweets over SMS.
An executive from Google is also heading to Havana this week to meet with Cuban officials to discuss strategies for improved communications systems, according to Politico.