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[liberationtech] Cuba: 5% Internet penetration
falcocom25 at gmail.com
Fri Jan 9 07:21:52 PST 2015
Like Leopoldo says it's very important to exert pressure to open up the
state telecom monopoly to new players. What few people realize amid the
current excitement is that this window of opportunity will not last long.
Historically, the Cuban government has negotiated with the USG, only to
later retrench to their old ways as soon as they can afford it. They may be
very well preparing the next shootdown of an airplane with american
citizens onboard or looking for any other excuses they can come up with to
return to the old status quo and blame the US for all their failings.
Also, very important at this time are the USG democracy promotion programs
because, among many other positives not related to the tech world, they
provide some economic independence to Cuban activists and civil society
actors. The fact is most people in Cuba depend on government jobs to
survive, to be able to eat at a minimum. The few "cuentapropistas" (ultra
small private businesses) are very heavily controlled and taxed, government
inspectors remove their licenses for anything they don't like. Money from
the USG democracy promotion programs allows many Cuban activists to pay for
the little bit of censored Internet access they now have at the Nauta
navigation rooms, they can pay for email (also through Nauta) and
International SMS on their phones and report abroad and inside Cuba what's
happening in the island. If these programs didn't exist, most Cuban
activists would be looking for food all day and affording $5 an hour for
Internet access would be nothing but a dream to them.
It's no wonder they are constantly vilified as "shady" by the cuban
government costly media campaigns and their no so disguised "Cuba offices"
in the US. It's a very thick thorn on their foot.
On Fri, Jan 9, 2015 at 2:01 AM, Andrés Leopoldo Pacheco Sanfuentes <
alps6085 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Here's a feasible approach:
> The technologies I mention are in use already in Cuba, although outside
> the legal system and thus subject to confiscation - case in point the
> newsclip about dusmantlement of an underground wifi network leveraging
> Ubiquiti Networks technology. Now they have a chance to set up coops to
> provide the same service within the boundaries of the legal system. It is
> very important for the progressive technology sector (people like the
> subscribers to this list) to exert pressure to open up the state telecom
> monopoly to new players, especially those based on democratic control of
> the means of production, like Coops.
> On Jan 8, 2015 4:19 PM, "Bill Woodcock" <woody at pch.net> wrote:
>> > On Jan 8, 2015, at 12:49 PM, Collin Anderson <collin at averysmallbird.com>
>> > On Thu, Jan 8, 2015 at 2:27 PM, Bill Woodcock <woody at pch.net> wrote:
>> > It’s called fiber.
>> > Fiber is cheap?
>> Relatively. It’s sand, somewhat processed. And it carries a lot of
>> bits. Nothing else carries a lot of bits. So, since it’s the only option
>> that actually carries lots of bits, it’s sorta academic how much it costs
>> relative to other things, that don’t carry lots of bits. So, yes, less
>> than a penny a strand-foot is cheap.
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