Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Internet in Cuban Homes? More Heat Than Light

Internet in Cuban Homes? More Heat Than Light / Juan Juan Almeida

Juan Juan Almeida, 26 September 2016 — Although the Cuban press confirms
and reiterates that the country will expand access to the internet as a
public service, an untimely meeting — they call it a broad council —
held on the 6th of this month, attended by the vice-ministers of the
central organs of the state, put an unexpected brake on the process of
computerizing Cuban society.

As a part of a strategy that pursues gimmicks rather than effectiveness,
the Cuban government emphasizes that it is investing invaluable
resources and unlimited efforts to bring the internet to more Cuban
citizens. But an email sent by the engineer Jorge Luis Legrá, director
of ETECSA (the state-run telecommunications company) Strategic Programs,
addressed to Mr. Alfredo Rodriguez Diaz, a specialist in artificial
intelligence and national director of Informatics and Communications of
the Ministry of Public Health in Cuba, shows the opposite.

Official media say that in the project of computerizing society, the
priority of the country is to extend connectivity to residential areas,
and that the number of users in the Health and Education sectors with
access to the internet in their homes will significantly expand.

The will may exist, although in reality I doubt it, because in this
electronic missive that with ingenuity and great effort landed in my
laptop, one can clearly read that at the important meeting held at the
beginning of the month, where the majority of Cuban vice-ministers
attended, Wilfredo Gonzalez Vidal, Vice-Minister of Communications of
Cuba, reported that his entity will continue working on broadening
access to the internet in navigation rooms, in the incorporation of new
public sites for wifi service, in the joint development of a
telecommunications law that suits the new technologies and puts an end
to the current regulations and legal framework.

He also said that work was underway on internet access through
cellphones and in the expansion of connectivity to national entities
MINTUR, MINAG, MITRANS, ICRT, MINREX, etc. But he also made clear that
as of this last July, an "all-powerful" decision red-lighted the much
publicized plan to install ADSL to bring internet to Cuban homes,
including those of health and education professionals for whom it has
already been authorized.

Faced with such inexactitud, I can't fail to mention my illustrious
grandmother and her wise sayings… "lots of heat, little light," or even
better, "You can catch a lie faster than you can catch a cold."

Source: Internet in Cuban Homes? More Heat Than Light / Juan Juan
Almeida – Translating Cuba -
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