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    Wi-Fi and Dirty Pants

    Wi-Fi and Dirty Pants
    HILDEBRANDO CHAVIANO MONTES | La Habana | 19 Oct 2015 – 12:15 pm.

    The illiterate of the 21st century are those who do not have Internet
    access. Many do not even know that the Internet exists in Cuba.

    As has been the case in Cuba for quite some time, everything that is
    created emerges warped, tainted by corruption and the vices and
    inefficiency of a society lacking civic and moral values and true
    interest in the development of the country.

    Now this is affecting the new information and communications
    technologies, whose implementation – expensive, scant, limited and
    deficient – is also hindered by the abuse of speculators hoarding
    wireless connection cards; originally priced at 2.00 CUC for one hour of
    connection, they are shamelessly resold at 3.00 and up to 4.00 CUC.

    The country’s 35 Wi-Fi hotspots, with a range serving some 100 people
    each, are ridiculously inadequate. The 2.00 CUC/hour price is far too
    high in a country where the average monthly wage is around 20.00 CUC.

    To avoid so much sitting around in the sun and in grubby public and
    private doorways and stairways, the threat of attackers, and the
    constant siege by speculators and annoying cops asking young people for
    their identification, or seeking to connect, due to the slowness of the
    connections provided by the Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba SA
    (ETECSA), the government would do well to take some steps to bring the
    service up to a level consonant with the countries in our geographical
    area and beyond.

    First, service should be set up in public and private establishments
    (restaurants, cafés, shops, hotels, etc.) which, through the payment of
    a reasonable fee (40.00 CUC/month, for example, set by the ETECSA),
    would enjoy an increase in their numbers of users and/or consumers,
    drawn by the free service. It would be a win-win.

    Second: expand Wi-Fi networks to citizens in their homes through monthly
    payment contracts similar to those established for the venues mentioned
    in the previous paragraph.

    One might argue that these proposals do not account for the insufficient
    resources available to the Cuban government, but, as long as that the
    state monopoly has become involved in this lucrative and important
    business, it ought to meet the challenges posed by its development, or
    accept offers from American companies, which would surely drive down
    prices and provide much better service.

    The massification of the new information and communications technologies
    would undoubtedly boost Cuba’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), as has
    happened in other countries, like Bolivia, where widespread Internet
    access has allowed the country to enjoy the greatest economic growth in
    Latin America this year.

    Perhaps the Cuban government’s plans for modernization are not so
    ambitious, but Cuba would benefit from an end to the self-imposed
    blockade that prevents its citizens from enjoying the benefits of new
    technologies.

    There will always excuses to invoke: the “imperialist blockade,” the
    danger that the cable passes through Florida (?), the media war,
    cultural penetration, the lack of resources, etc.

    One of the real reasons for all the foot dragging in the installation of
    cable, antennas and other system components is that after the
    technological upgrade, which is long overdue, the newspaper Granma will
    be even less read, and the Round Table will end up buried in the
    cemetery of grating and useless programs. Another reason is that we
    Cubans will have a little bit of freedom, and the directors of the
    private company called the “Socialist Revolution” hate the idea of the
    people enjoying some freedom, even if it is virtual.

    In the end, sooner or later, Cubans will have Internet access at more
    affordable prices, and the dinosaurs will throw a tantrum, but will have
    to put up with development prevailing, despite all their fears and bad
    intentions. And, along the way, young people will not get their pants
    dirty on stairs and in doorways, nor will they be expelled from the
    vicinity of the Hotel Capri.

    The right to the Internet is actually like the right to literacy. The
    illiterate of the 21st century are those citizens who do not enjoy this
    right and, in the case of Cuba, there are many who do not even know that
    it exists. Yet one more disgrace attributable to the leaders of the most
    notorious business disaster in the country’s history, a socialist
    revolution that ceased to be a revolution early on, and was never really
    socialist.

    Source: Wi-Fi and Dirty Pants | Diario de Cuba –
    www.diariodecuba.com/cuba/1445249758_17580.html