Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Etecsa officials provide some details and make some promises

Etecsa officials held a press conference in which they made the point that the 118 new Internet access rooms are just the start of improved Internet service.

They promised lower prices, more access rooms, WiFi in access rooms, mobile connectivity, etc., but did not give specifics.

The article did, however, give some specifics about the service which will be offered starting June 4. The connection speed will be "up to" two megabits per second, depending upon the available infrastructure at each location. All Web services will be available -- chat, social networks, email, uploading and downloading of files, etc.

However, VOIP calls will be prohibited in accordance with Resolution 120/2003 of the Telecommunications Company of Cuba. I wonder whether "click to talk" services on Web sites will work. The VOIP restriction protects Etecsa revenue for now, but it may turn out to be difficult to enforce.

The slow connection speed -- up to 2 mbps -- reflects the remark of Jorge Luis Legros, Director of Etecsa Strategic Programs,  when asked about the impact of the undersea cable.  He said that it will improve service but "investments in networks and systems to bring access closer to the end user are needed."

What can Cuba do to attract that investment from China or other nations?

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Update 5/31/2013

Related commentary on the opening of the new access rooms from Granma:

La estrategia es continuar ampliando los servicios de Internet a la población
Vague promises of things to come

No será el mercado quien regule el acceso al conocimiento
Interview of Wilfredo González Vidal, viceministro del Ministerio de Comunicaciones

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