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Published on 29 June 2015 by ACN

Cuba´s Etecsa Telecom Company has announced that the infrastructure for public WiFi connection to the Internet  is ready in fourhotspots in Central Ciego de Avila province.

WiFi project coordinator Laudel Broche told local reporters that between 20 and 30 users in each four sites, located in the main city Ciego and in Moron, will be able to connect to the Internet during all 24 hours of the day.

The connection speed is one megabit and clients need to have a local Nauta navigation account in cell phones, laptops or tablets. To access the service, clients must purchase a code card whose cost is 2 pesos (similar to dollars) the hour.

Yharasay Rodriguez, a young teacher in Ciego, told ACN that this is a new way to access the services that ETECSA has been offering, including the Computing and Electronics Clubs, though she noted that WiFi prices are still high.

The Ciego de Avila service is part of 35 new WiFi hotspots that ETECSA Telecom company announced recently.

Cuban universities will have access to optic fiber connection allowing them faster Internet access starting January of 2016, according to an AIN report quoting Walter Baluja Director of Computer Science Department of the Ministry of Higher Education. 

In an exclusive interview, the director explained that the Cuban Telecommunications Company (ETECSA) made the commitment with the Higher Education Ministry (MES) that by that date all academic centers in the country will benefit by the technology. 

He said that some universities already have access to the optic fiber cable installed in provinces like Granma and Pinar del Rio that is why during 2015 they took advantage of the infrastructure already in place and increased payment to ETECSA to expand connectivity from 2 to 20 megabytes. 

Baluja explained that the investments is mainly directed to the connection through a network cable and that is why the computer centers continue being the main access sites for the students but pointed out that several universities already have Wi-Fi and MES will continue expanding this system. 

But while the infrastructure advances, he said, we must change the mentality of what can be done with this technology because the centers are more consumer oriented than generators of knowledge of the web. 

Placing the bibliography of the universities on the network, thesis, and others; are possibilities that some centers exploit but many others do not, and it’s important that the academic personnel are inter connected to save the distances, he said. 

The University Network (or RedUniv) must be turned into an advanced mechanism to lead innovation and research across the country, he said and also be an important source of informatics training and programmers in the nation. 

These investments carried out in the Higher Education are part of the State´s program to increase connectivity in Cuban society, expressed in the First National Workshop of Computer Science and Cyber security. 

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