This is where everything started, the first public Wi-Fi hotspot in Havana, Cuba.
Although the Internet penetration rate of Cuba remains one of the lowest in the world, the eagerness to connect is lit up by the 40+ Wi-Fi hotspots in Havana and other major cities.
You can detect these hotspots a mile away: entrire families, friends, couples, travellers, all holding smartphones, tablets or laptops, staring at or speaking to their screens.
The price of internet pass has dropped from 6 CUCs per hour to 2 CUCs. It is affordable, however, after being spoiled by the unlimited 4G connection, time goes by fast when you pay by hour. Everyone is focused. A young girl is telling her father about her week; young people are browsing what’s happening in the world; a young man is replying a long list of emails…
And of course, there are more to do. You might not imagine, ladies do ‘online shopping’ via camera. Lingeries are expensive in Cuba and the qualities are substandard, thus some Cuban women shop lingeries while their families are physically in the lingerie shop showing them the collections via camera.
Nevertheless, all the internet services are provided and controlled by the state-owned telecoms companies such as Etecsa. Restrictions are strong, censorships do exist. But Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche once said: “Invisible threads are the strongest ties.”