Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Interviews of ETECSA officials

Juventud Rebelde published a summary of what seems to have been a three hour online question and answer session between their readers (at least the ones with Internet access :-) and ETECSA officials.

They talked about ETECSA's data center, which has over 100 terabytes storage capacity today and will be expanded by five times next year. While large and a good start, this is not comparable to the data centers operated by companies like Google.

The data center went online in February 2014 to host data and services of state agencies and Nauta email. It currently hosts over 160 websites and what sounds like colocation for "over 15" organizations. (The following image, which accompanied the Juventud Rebelde post, is a general sketch of a Savvis data center, not a representation of the actual ETECSA data center).

The data center also hosts the Orion search engine developed at the University of Information Science. I tried a few Orion searches and, as far as I could discover, there are no images and it is only crawling .cu web sites. I could not even turn up a picture of Fidel Castro:

When asked about cloud storage for individuals and home Internet service, the officials made no commitments saying were focusing on shared capabilities due to limited funds and said they expected to improve the quality of service in more than 230 Internet access rooms at third party sites. A significant number of access points will be in Joven Clubs. WiFi access will also be available at these sites, but evidently prices will remain $4.50 per hour.

The officials promised to continue modernizing and expanding mobile networks, adding 800,000 "lines," allowing over 3 million users. Nothing was said about providing 3 or 4G capability.

The article leaves me with the impression that this was more like a press conference for ETECSA than hard-hitting question and answer session.

If I could ask questions of ETECSA, I would be interested in learning about their management and relationship to the Ministry of Communication.

Update 12/30/2014

Juventude Rebelde published more of the online Q and A with ETECSA officials.

ETECSA said they plan to create an exchange point for the networks of Infomed, the universities, the Joven Clubs and the Ministry of Education and that there are points of presence in all Cuban municipalities.

The short article is accompanied by many questions and answers.

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