Google becomes first foreign internet company to launch service in Cuba

The powering on of Google caching servers follows a deal signed last year

IDG

IDG

Google servers inside Cuba are now live on the internet, marking a major milestone in the country's communications evolution and promising faster access to Google's services for Cuban users.

The computers are part of Google's global network of caching servers, which store frequently requested content locally so it doesn't have to be accessed over long distances.

That speeds up access in any country but is particularly important in a nation like Cuba, which has relatively low connectivity to the rest of the world.

Cuba is connected to the rest of the internet almost exclusively via the ALBA-1 submarine cable, which runs from the island to Venezuela, said Doug Madory, director of internet analysis at Dyn Research. Dyn was first to spot the emergence of the Google caching servers on the internet.

Madory said the Google servers represent the first time a foreign internet company has hosted anything inside the country.

Today, surfing the internet is still an expensive pastime in Cuba. Government-run internet cafes charge several euros for an hour or two of online time -- a large amount in a country where the average wage is about 20 euros (US$22) per month.

Google first entered Cuba in early 2016 when it set up its own tech center and Wi-Fi service at the gallery of Cuban sculptor Alexis Leiva Machado, who uses the name "Kcho" on his work.

There, the Wi-Fi password is "abajoelbloqueo" -- "end the embargo."

170426 internet cuba Doug Madory

A sign providing the internet password for a Google-run Wi-Fi hotspot at the studio of artist Kcho in Havana, Cuba.

The new caching service is the result of a deal signed by Google with Etecsa, the state-run telecommunications carrier, in December 2016 when Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt was in Havana.

You can test it for yourself. The following Cuban IP address will redirect your browser to your closest Google caching server: http://190.92.112.12.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?