Google Signs a Deal with Cuba for Local Data-Storage

12:15 pm
0 Brooke Stevens
Google has signed a deal with ETCSA, allowing Cubans significantly faster access to its content. Is this the beginning of a Cuban internet revolution?

Google definitely knows what to do to enhance the global distribution of its services. The technology company signed a local data-storage deal with Cuba on Monday. The deal, signed with the local national telecommunication company, ETCSA, promises what is estimated to be a 10-times faster internet access to Google-owned content. Up until now, signals could only reach the Caribbean island through Venezuela, which inevitably slowed down data-transmission rate to a tremendous extent. With local Google servers now to be set in Cuba – services such as YouTube or Gmail should be able to load significantly faster.

However, the new Google deal does not magically solve Cuba’s general internet communication problem. This is only but an initial step in what would hopefully be a future change to Cuba’s entire internet infrastructure. Currently, the communist country is one of the most deprived countries in the world when it comes to internet access – which is both incredibly slow and unreasonably expensive comparing to western standards. Additionally, according to the Cuban law, most citizens are not even allowed to have a home internet connection. All these factors hold back the country’s technological progress and in many ways, keep its citizens detached from the global community.

Google and Cuba
Photo by: guardian.ng

The new agreement is a fruit of efforts made by outgoing US President, Barack Obama, in the past two years. Obama has declared his country’s intention to improve relations with Cuba in 2014, and encouraged the strengthening of commercial ties between the two countries as a central mean. There’s a significant concern that President-Elect, Donald Trump, will decide to reverse Obama’s policy regarding the communist country. It appears that Google tried to “slip under the wire,” since it chose to sign the crucial agreement at the height of the Obama-Trump limbo.

According to the Obama administration, increasing commercial ties between the US and Cuba will hopefully prevent future administrations from sabotaging the ongoing improvement in the relations between the two countries. But, all political matters aside: the recent deal is undoubtedly a highly important step for Cuban citizens, who are probably yearning for some decent internet connection, and deserve it as much as anyone else.

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Founded in 1998 as a search-engine, Google has since then developed and expanded into a variety of digital products and services. With Gmail, Google+, Google Drive, and Google Docs, Google has proven itself capable of providing high-quality and engaging services in all the new spheres the technological age has created.

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