HAVANA – Cuba’s state telecom monopoly Etecsa announced on Monday a reduction in the cost of Internet service and the start of online trials in the homes of 2,000 users in Old Havana.
The reduction from 2 Cuban convertible pesos (CUC, equivalent to the dollar) to 1.50 CUC will encourage people to visit the cultural, investigative and news content on the island’s Web sites, Etecsa’s commercial communications specialist Beatriz Fernandez said, as cited by the daily Juventud Rebelde.
From this Monday, Etecsa services for surfing the worldwide Web with a Nauta account will cost 1.50 CUC per hour, while nationwide navigation will cost 25 centavos CUC per hour, Fernandez said.
Meanwhile, Cuba is about to launch a 2-month pilot trial offering users Internet access at home, something that has been harshly restricted up to now.
The trial will be carried out in 2,000 homes located in two districts of Old Havana, selected for their “technical availability” (having a landline telephone), among other criteria, the specialist in landline services, Ana Mendez, said.
Up to now, home Internet connections have been limited to professionals like doctors, journalists, intellectuals and academics.
In the Nauta Home Trial, a wide-band connection with ADSL technology will be employed for a number of hours determined by Internet connection speed, the official said.
She said that Web surfers in this pilot experiment must have a Nauta account, and after signing a contract will receive the necessary equipment to go online from their homes.
Once the trial is over, Etecsa will offer them contracts for Internet use at home from that day onwards.