Thursday, September 21, 2017

Google global cache servers are online in Cuba, but Google's App Engine is blocked

This is a belated update. I had hoped to get more information before posting it, but difficult Internet access in Cuba and now the hurricane got in the way -- better late than never.

Cuban requests for Google services are being routed to GCC servers in Cuba and all Google services that are available in Cuba are being cached -- not just YouTube. That will cut latency significantly, but Cuban data rates remain painfully slow. My guess is that Cubans will notice the improved performance in interactive applications, but maybe not perceive much of a change when watching a streaming video.

Note the italics in the above paragraph -- evidently, Google blocks access to their App Engine hosting and application development platform. Cuban developers cannot build App Engine applications and Cubans cannot access applications like the Khan Academy or Google's G-Suite.

The last time I checked, Rackspace and Amazon allowed access to their hosting platforms from Cuba, but IBM Softlayer and Google did not. President Obama clearly favored improved telecommunication for Cuba, stating that
I’ve authorized increased telecommunications connections between the United States and Cuba. Businesses will be able to sell goods that enable Cubans to communicate with the United States and other countries.
in his Cuba Policy Changes. While Trump claimed that he was "canceling the last administration’s completely one-sided deal with Cuba," he made few changes and has said nothing about restrictions on access to Internet services by Cubans.

I wonder why IBM and Google do not follow the lead of Amazon and Rackspace.

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