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PURE CUBA: How Cubans are using Internet

Apr 13, 2016

Surfing the web on public Wi-Fi.
Credit Mercedes Mejia

Internet is being introduced in Cuba (slowly) and while people are rapidly embracing the technology, many still can’t afford it.

For about $2 per hour you can surf the web. It costs more at hotels. At the hotel Havana Libre, Wi-Fi use is $5 per hour.

Just in the past year the Cuban government allowed Wi-Fi zones in Havana, which can be found around a few parks and main business districts.  Locals sit on benches or sidewalks as they text, send email and use social media to communicate with friends and family.

Carolina Rodriguez Mazpule comes to this park in Havana to surf the web.

19 year old Carolina Rodriguez Mazpule studies graphic design in Havana.
Credit Mercedes Mejia

“I like to go on Facebook, talk with my friends who live abroad. I also like to go on Instagram. Or, I look up information for school.”

Government employees are allowed to have a modem in-home for business purposes, but the speed is frustratingly slow and comes with certain restrictions.

And, with the average salary from $20-$30 a month, it’s still a luxury many can’t afford.

If there’s one benefit, people are more connected with each other. No one is checking email at restaurants and people don’t walk the streets looking down at their phones.