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Internet in Cuba

Internet in Cuba is different to how you might expect it to be. For starters, the cost is very expensive, at 6 CUC per hour (it is sometimes possible to buy cards for 3 CUC, for 30 minutes only). Most Cubans do not have access to the Internet, so as a foreigner you are privileged in this respect. Internet is under strict state control and the majority of Cubans can only access certain locally-run websites.

If you want to access Internet while in Cuba, your best bet is usually the local Etecsa office. Here you can buy the cards required (scratch the back to reveal the login and password that you will be prompted to enter when you try to access the internet. Despite the high price, Internet speeds are painfully slow and it can take several minutes to just load one page. Be aware that emails that you send may be monitored by the government. You cannot upload documents or photographs to emails or otherwise.

If you prefer, most of the fancier hotels also offer Internet access, usually using the same cards and for the same price as Etecsa, with some exceptions. You can bring a laptop to Cuba, but do not expect WiFi access, except perhaps at a minority of the more luxury accommodations.

By Paula Newton
I am V!VA's operations expert. With an MBA and a background in the Interactive Television industry in the U.K. I am the organizing force behind the...
25 May 2009

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