Google’s servers in Cuba went live on Wednesday, making the internet giant the first foreign internet company to host content within the long cut-off country.
The internet giant opened a new data centre in Cuba yesterday where it will store information such as popular YouTube videos. In a move that indicates Cuba is opening its doors to modernisation and greater access to information, the on-island servers will make it easier for Cuban people to access Google’s services.
Until now information from across the internet had to travel to the island through a submarine cable from Venezuela, making the connection very slow. But now the Google servers will be able to store content such as videos that are traffic-intensive in order to make it easier for inhabitants to view it.
It remains difficult for the average Cuban to connect to the internet, because of poor infrastructure and controlling laws. Most Cuban people are not granted permission to have internet in their homes, and can only access it at some places of work, education facilities and at one of 240 public Wi-Fi spots.