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Cuba plans to start offering wireless internet

Staff writer |
Cuba plans to start offering wireless service for the first time this month, officials said. Wireless internet connections will get a limited rollout through state-run Etecsa in Santiago de Cuba.

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"Santiago (de Cuba) has been picked by Etecsa to test wifi service late this month," read a statement on the website of the Union of Cuban Journalists, a government association.

Cuba allows some locals such as journalists, doctors and athletes to have internet access at home. Other internet access is largely limited to government employees and pricey pay-by-hour public access and anyone who wants their own router needs permission from the Communications Ministry first.

The journalists' site said WiFi access will cost $4.5 an hour. That is the same rate, unaffordable to many, as that offered at public internet cafes. Most Cubans make under $20 a month.

Last year, 3.4 percent of homes in Cuba had Internet access, one of the world's lowest rates, according to international technology authorities.

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