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[liberationtech] Cuba: 5% Internet penetration

Myself falcocom25 at gmail.com
Fri Jan 9 12:01:47 PST 2015


This is Cuba, not Iran, Sudan or whatever, more like North Korea, just
closer to the US. There's no competition, communications are a state
monopoly called ETECSA controlled by a military commander. Regular Cubans
earn about $20 a month and the government makes sure they stay extremely
poor so they stay in power. The cheapest Internet plans in the free world
cost more than what Cubans make in a month. Good luck with competition and
wishful thinking...

PGP <http://pgp.mit.edu:11371/pks/lookup?op=get&search=0xA5BA76902CB232E3>

On Fri, Jan 9, 2015 at 2:06 PM, S.Aliakbar Mousavi <mousavi.sa48 at gmail.com>
wrote:

> Myself,
>
> No worries about future affordability. If telcos and tech companies
> expanded their services in Cuba it would
> expand competition and therefore makes those services more and more
> cheaper and affordable for the people and I promise you in that situation
> even nomads area can afford it.
>
> Let's give you some similar experiences:
> In my research, I call those states like Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Korea,
> Sudan, etc. as ICT-averse countries.
>
> In my country Iran, after 8 years reform era because of increasing those
> competition between telcos and tech companies now we have more
>  than 100 million Sim cards and the population is 80 million since it is
> affordable for even poor people.(but those Sim-Card holders have back and
> force
> with other problem which is censorship, etc.).
>
> Recently, I had  a chance to be in Sudan for the first time because of an
> ITU training event and
> I saw there because of that competition between MTN, Sudani, Canar, and
> Zain even in desert and tribal areas
> people could afford to buy such services. (the attached picture is one of
> those people that emphasized on the cell phone affordability).
>
> So, in case of Cuba,  in addition to increase the competition between
> providers USG can spend more money on improving economic and educational
> infrastructure rather than working on sensitive issues that still those
> states are allergic to it.
> Ali
>
>
> On 9 January 2015 at 13:04, Myself <falcocom25 at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Ali,
>> I agree with you on this: "encouraging telcos and tech companies
>> (especially from the countries that Cuban government has less sensitivity
>> on them) to get benefit of Obama's sanction waivers to invest and expand
>> services". This could be a good strategy.
>>
>> However, there's a reason the Cuban government is sensitive about the
>> democracy programs. See highlighted below. e.g. If it weren't for them you
>> would have never heard of Yoani Sanchez, Osvaldo Paya or Oscar Elias
>> Biscet. Yoani would be too busy climbing 14 flights of stairs up and down
>> and trying to give her kid something to eat for the day. It's a government
>> strategy that works, hungry people in lines don't think about the Internet
>> and the outside world. I didn't...
>>
>> The only way to appease a bully is to fight back.
>>
>> 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.
>>
>> Rafael
>> www.lasingularidad.com
>>
>> PGP
>> <http://pgp.mit.edu:11371/pks/lookup?op=get&search=0xA5BA76902CB232E3>
>>
>> On Fri, Jan 9, 2015 at 12:38 PM, S.Aliakbar Mousavi <
>> mousavi.sa48 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> "Myself" truly states:
>>> "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".
>>>
>>> However, if we worried about closing this window of opportunity by Cuban
>>> government then I think encouraging telcos and tech companies (especially
>>> from the countries that Cuban government has less sensitivity on them) to
>>> get benefit of Obama's sanction waivers to invest and expand services from
>>> economical perspective would be more practical way *than promoting USG
>>> democracy promotion programs **(that Cuban government is very sensitive
>>> on it)*.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/12/17/fact-sheet-charting-new-course-cuba
>>>
>>> *Initiating new efforts to increase Cubans’ access to communications and
>>> their ability to communicate freely-*
>>>
>>>    - Cuba has an internet penetration of about five percent—one of the
>>>    lowest rates in the world.  The cost of telecommunications in Cuba is
>>>    exorbitantly high, while the services offered are extremely limited.
>>>    - The commercial export of certain items that will contribute to the
>>>    ability of the Cuban people to communicate with people in the United States
>>>    and the rest of the world will be authorized.  This will include the
>>>    commercial sale of certain consumer communications devices, related
>>>    software, applications, hardware, and services, and items for the
>>>    establishment and update of communications-related systems.
>>>    -  *Telecommunications providers will be allowed to establish the
>>>    necessary mechanisms, including infrastructure, in Cuba to provide
>>>    commercial telecommunications and internet services, which will improve
>>>    telecommunications between the United States and Cuba.*
>>>
>>> We even haven't received the highlighted part of this waiver for Iran
>>> but fortunately Cuba got it and now its strategy for implementation is very
>>> important.
>>> Ali
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On 9 January 2015 at 10:21, Myself <falcocom25 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>> 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.
>>>>
>>>> PGP
>>>> <http://pgp.mit.edu:11371/pks/lookup?op=get&search=0xA5BA76902CB232E3>
>>>>
>>>> On Fri, Jan 9, 2015 at 2:01 AM, Andrés Leopoldo Pacheco Sanfuentes <
>>>> alps6085 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Here's a feasible approach:
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> http://www.shareable.net/blog/cuba-is-using-cooperatives-to-decentralize-its-economy
>>>>>
>>>>> 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> wrote:
>>>>>> >
>>>>>> >
>>>>>> > 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.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>                                 -Bill
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> --
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>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> --
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>>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
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>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>>             S.Aliakbar Mousavi
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> Liberationtech is public & archives are searchable on Google. Violations
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>>
>>
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>
>
>
> --
>             S.Aliakbar Mousavi
>
>
>
> --
> Liberationtech is public & archives are searchable on Google. Violations
> of list guidelines will get you moderated:
> https://mailman.stanford.edu/mailman/listinfo/liberationtech.
> Unsubscribe, change to digest, or change password by emailing moderator at
> companys at stanford.edu.
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