Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Connectivity remains slow and variable

A colleague in Cuba ran traceroute from a computer on a dial up link in Havana to several destinations in Cuba, Venezuela and the US. The following table shows the round trip latency time for three tests to each destination:
As you see, the international connections are very slow. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to use a modern Web site at any of those locations. Only the third test on the last line (to the US) seems to be using the ALBA-1 cable one-way.

Not only are the times slow, the variance to the same location is very high. Consider again the last line -- three tests resulted in three very different times. Even the variance within Cuba is high.

I cannot explain this -- some may be due to problems with my colleague's computer or Internet connection -- but hopefully we will see improvement soon.

If others run tests from Cuba and get different results, let us know (in confidence).


  1. The variance in normal if your colleague was using dial up. Phone lines in Cuba are usually very old, noisy and unstable.

  2. Wow -- at that speed TCP would really degrade or time out most Web sites. What is it like to use, say, Facebook from one of those dial-up connections?

    (I was in Myanmar a while ago and could not use my university on-line registration system -- see http://cis471.blogspot.com/2012/12/impressions-of-internet-in-yangon.html).

  3. The same happens to me with a Canadian university and its online registration system every time I go to Cuba. The student's online email (they use horde webmail I think) does not work there either. Gmail works in plain HTML-mode but not in full mode, and facebook kind of works if I use the mobile version.


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