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Cuba Struggles With Broadband Availability and Adoption

in Broadband's Impact/International by

WASHINGTON, June 28, 2010 – Cuba is still lagging significantly in its broadband availability and adoption.

According to the CIA World Factbook, Cuba has 11.5 million inhabitants, and Reuters found that there are only 700,000 computers in Cuba. This is equal to 62 computers for every 1,000 citizens, and about 14 internet users per 100 residents. Cuba’s National Statistics Office reported on its web page that there were 1.6 million Internet users, and in most cases this was to a government intranet.

International Telecommunications Union data show that Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Haiti offer superior connectivity.

The majority of Cuba’s computers are in government offices, health and education facilities and citizens must obtain government permission before purchasing a computer or accessing the internet.

Cell phones were legalized in in 2008, and there are 1.8 million phone lines in the country. There are about 15.5 lines for every 100 inhabitants, the lowest in the region according to the ITU.

Satellite TV access is still illegal without the government’s permission, and homes are regularly raided for dishes and receivers, according to news reports that also found that Cuba's failure to embrace modern telecoms is a major complaint among citizens under 50 years old. The younger residents cite the lack of modernization as one of the reasons they seek to migrate abroad.

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