Internet Connectivity (Further) Regresses in Cuba

Wednesday, November 26, 2014
According to the Geneva-based International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations’ specialized agency handling international telecommunications matters, Cuba is "falling further behind" as regards Internet connectivity.

Moreover, it is the only "least connected country" (LCC) in the Americas.

The ITU's 2014 report states progress was recorded in nearly every country in the world -- except Cuba.

Cuba ranks 125th in the world in the ITU's Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Development Index.

That's three slots lower from its previous 122nd place ranking.

As regards access, Cuba ranks even lower, 160th (out of 166 ranked nations) in the world.

Only Burma, Congo, Madagascar, Chad, Central African Republic and Eritrea rank worse.

Meanwhile, while countries like Panama, Argentina and Uruguay have mobile-cellular penetration exceeding 150 percent. Cuba's penetration is a mere 18 percent.

As the report notes, Cuba's ETECSA is one of the world's last state telecom monopolies.

Finally, household Internet access in Cuba has gone down from 3.8% last year to 3.4% this year.

This, despite the new, much-heralded fiber optic cables to-and-from Venezuela and Jamaica.

So long as the Castro regime (though ETECSA) keeps its monopoly over all telecom on the island, the only beneficiary of these new cables is (and will continue to be) the government.

Thus, circumvention technology remains key to helping the Cuban people's desire for connectivity.