HAVANA – Cuban state telecom monopoly Etecsa announced a pilot program to provide residential Internet service in Havana, where the company is also opening 30 new public Wi-Fi areas this year.
Odalys Rodriguez del Toro, director of Etecsa’s Havana Division, said that the test will be conducted in La Habana Vieja, the capital’s oldest district.
The connections will run via fiber-optic cables as part of a project with China’s Huawei, she said.
Rodriguez del Toro said Havana will gain an additional 30 public Wi-Fi areas, bringing the total in the metropolitan area to 47.
“The goal for this year is to have three parks with Wi-Fi per municipality and to reach other areas with great concentrations of people, such as El Castillito and Pabellon Cuba, Revolution Square, the University Resort in Playa. And in the future, coffee shops, bars and restaurants that request it,” she said.
An average of 150,000 people a day access the Internet via Etecsa’s 58 public Wi-Fi spots across Cuba.
Currently, the Cuban government limits home access to the Internet to members of a handful of professions, including medicine, journalism and academia.