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 PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?