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RTX3HV25
For Cubans, Wi-Fi means family
The introduction of Wi-Fi hotspots in Cuban public spaces two years ago has transformed the Communist-run island that had been mostly offline. At dusk, when the worst of the Caribbean heat has subsided, parks around Cuba fill with families video chatting with loved ones abroad or scrolling through social media, their animated faces lit by telephone and tablet screens.
CUBA-INTERNET/
RTX3HU6R
October 23, 2017
People make a video call inside a car at an internet hotspot in Havana, Cuba. The dome light is on to...
Havana, Cuba
The Wider Image: For Cubans, Wi-Fi means family
People make a video call inside a car at an internet hotspot in Havana, Cuba. The dome light is on to provide better lighting for the video call. At dusk, when the worst of the Caribbean heat has subsided, parks around Cuba fill with families video chatting with loved ones abroad or scrolling through social media, their animated faces lit by telephone and tablet screens.

REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
CUBA-INTERNET/
RTX3HU6S
October 23, 2017
Gabriela Monteiro (R), 16, and Gisele Rodriguez, 15, use the internet at a hotspot in Havana. The introduction...
Havana, Cuba
The Wider Image: For Cubans, Wi-Fi means family
Gabriela Monteiro (R), 16, and Gisele Rodriguez, 15, use the internet at a hotspot in Havana. The introduction of Wi-Fi hotspots in Cuban public spaces two years ago has transformed the Communist-run island that had been mostly offline. Nearly half the population of 11 million connected at least once last year. That has whet Cubans' appetite for better and cheaper access to the internet.

REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
CUBA-INTERNET/
RTX3HU65
October 23, 2017
Claudia Espinosa, 20 (R), and her mother Maribel Sosa, speak to relatives living in the United States....
Havana, Cuba
The Wider Image: For Cubans, Wi-Fi means family
Claudia Espinosa, 20 (R), and her mother Maribel Sosa, speak to relatives living in the United States. "A lot has changed," said Maribel Sosa, 54, after standing for an hour with her daughter at the corner of a park in Havana, video chatting with her family in the United States, laughing and gesticulating at her phone's screen. She recalled how she used to queue all night to use a public telephone to speak with her brother for a few minutes after he emigrated to Florida in the 1980s.

REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
CUBA-INTERNET/
RTX3HU6A
October 23, 2017
A man connects to an internet hotspot at the sea front at the Malecon in Havana. Given the relative expense...
Havana, Cuba
The Wider Image: For Cubans, Wi-Fi means family
A man connects to an internet hotspot at the sea front at the Malecon in Havana. Given the relative expense of connecting to the internet, Cubans use it mostly to stay in touch with relatives and friends. Although prices have dropped, the $1.50 hourly tariff represents 5 percent of the average monthly state salary of $30. "A lot more could change still," said Sosa. "Why shouldn't we be able to have internet at home?"

REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
CUBA-INTERNET/
RTX3HU73
October 23, 2017
A man sits on his doorstep to connect to a nearby internet hotspot in Havana. A tiny share of homes has...
Havana, Cuba
The Wider Image: For Cubans, Wi-Fi means family
A man sits on his doorstep to connect to a nearby internet hotspot in Havana. A tiny share of homes has had broadband access until now, subject to government permission granted to some professionals such as academics and journalists.

REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
CUBA-INTERNET/
RTX3HU5K
October 23, 2017
People connect to the internet at a hotspot in Havana. The state telecoms monopoly has vowed to hook...
Havana, Cuba
The Wider Image: For Cubans, Wi-Fi means family
People connect to the internet at a hotspot in Havana. The state telecoms monopoly has vowed to hook up the whole island and connected several hundred Havana homes late last year as a pilot project. In September, it said it would roll that service out nationwide by the end of 2017.

REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
CUBA-INTERNET/
RTX3HU63
October 23, 2017
Cubans say previous promises for such access have not been fulfilled, so their expectations are not high....
Havana, Cuba
The Wider Image: For Cubans, Wi-Fi means family
Cubans say previous promises for such access have not been fulfilled, so their expectations are not high. They also say the cost is prohibitive, with the cheapest monthly subscription priced at $15.

REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
CUBA-INTERNET/
RTX3HU6U
October 23, 2017
A man connects to an internet hotspot at the sea front at the Malecon in Havana. Havana says it has been...
Havana, Cuba
The Wider Image: For Cubans, Wi-Fi means family
A man connects to an internet hotspot at the sea front at the Malecon in Havana. Havana says it has been slow to develop network infrastructure because of high costs, attributed partly to the U.S. trade embargo. Critics say the government fears losing control.

REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
CUBA-INTERNET/
RTX3HU71
October 23, 2017
Doctor Alejandro Soto stands with his dog Coco as he connects to an internet hotspot in Havana. Cubans...
Havana, Cuba
The Wider Image: For Cubans, Wi-Fi means family
Doctor Alejandro Soto stands with his dog Coco as he connects to an internet hotspot in Havana. Cubans who can afford it flock to Internet cafes and 432 outdoor hotspots where they brave ants, mosquitoes and the elements.

REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
CUBA-INTERNET/
RTX3HU6N
October 23, 2017
People connect to the internet at a hotspot in Havana. Here they laugh, cry, shout, and whisper. Black...
Havana, Cuba
The Wider Image: For Cubans, Wi-Fi means family
People connect to the internet at a hotspot in Havana. Here they laugh, cry, shout, and whisper. Black market vendors weave in and out among them, trying to hawk pre-paid scratchcards allowing Wi-Fi access. The ping of incoming messages and ring of calls fill the air.

REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
CUBA-INTERNET/
RTX3HU6B
October 23, 2017
Tourist guide Daniel Hernandez, 26, sits on his Russian-made car as he speaks to his girlfriend who lives...
Havana, Cuba
The Wider Image: For Cubans, Wi-Fi means family
Tourist guide Daniel Hernandez, 26, sits on his Russian-made car as he speaks to his girlfriend who lives in Britain. "There's absolutely no privacy here," said Daniel Hernandez, 26, a tourist guide, after video chatting. "When I have sensitive things to talk about, I try shutting myself into my car and talking quietly." The quality of connections is often good only at specific spots, he said, and when fewer users are connected. Otherwise, the screen tends to freeze mid-chat. Hernandez said he also uses the internet to search for news. In Cuba, the state has the monopoly on print and broadcast media.

REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
CUBA-INTERNET/
RTX3HU5H
October 23, 2017
Taxi driver Rene Almeida speaks to relatives living in the United States on a video call inside his cab...
Havana, Cuba
The Wider Image: For Cubans, Wi-Fi means family
Taxi driver Rene Almeida speaks to relatives living in the United States on a video call inside his cab at an internet hotspot in Havana. The dome light is on to provide better lighting for the video call. Almeida, 62, sat in his taxi checking email. He said he felt lucky that his two children had moved to the United States where communications are better than ever. It was only in 2008 that the government first allowed Cubans to own cell phones. He, too, complained of the lack of privacy and the expense. "It's better than nothing," he said. "But it should improve. It will."

REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
CUBA-INTERNET/
RTX3HU5V
October 23, 2017
People connect to the internet at a hotspot in Havana. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
Havana, Cuba
The Wider Image: For Cubans, Wi-Fi means family
People connect to the internet at a hotspot in Havana. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
CUBA-INTERNET/
RTX3HU6W
October 23, 2017
People connect to the internet at a hotspot in Regla. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
Regla, Cuba
The Wider Image: For Cubans, Wi-Fi means family
People connect to the internet at a hotspot in Regla. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
CUBA-INTERNET/
RTX3HU6Z
October 23, 2017
Young people connect to the internet at a hotspot in Havana. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
Havana, Cuba
The Wider Image: For Cubans, Wi-Fi means family
Young people connect to the internet at a hotspot in Havana. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
CUBA-INTERNET/
RTX3HU5Q
October 23, 2017
People connect to the internet at a hotspot in Havana. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
Havana, Cuba
The Wider Image: For Cubans, Wi-Fi means family
People connect to the internet at a hotspot in Havana. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
CUBA-INTERNET/
RTX3HU5T
October 23, 2017
People connect to the internet at a hotspot in Ciego de Avila. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
Ciego De Avila, Cuba
The Wider Image: For Cubans, Wi-Fi means family
People connect to the internet at a hotspot in Ciego de Avila. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
CUBA-INTERNET/
RTX3HU6H
October 23, 2017
A woman sits on a vintage car as she uses an internet hotspot in Havana,. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini...
Havana, Cuba
The Wider Image: For Cubans, Wi-Fi means family
A woman sits on a vintage car as she uses an internet hotspot in Havana,. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
CUBA-INTERNET/
RTX3HU6X
October 23, 2017
Dancers use an internet hotspot before performing at the Carnival of Havana. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini...
Havana, Cuba
The Wider Image: For Cubans, Wi-Fi means family
Dancers use an internet hotspot before performing at the Carnival of Havana. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
CUBA-INTERNET/
RTX3HU6K
October 23, 2017
People connect to the internet at a hotspot in Regla. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
Regla, Cuba
The Wider Image: For Cubans, Wi-Fi means family
People connect to the internet at a hotspot in Regla. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
CUBA-INTERNET/
RTX3HU6L
October 23, 2017
A dancer uses an internet hotspot from inside a bus before performing at the Carnival of Havana. REUTERS/Alexandre...
Havana, Cuba
The Wider Image: For Cubans, Wi-Fi means family
A dancer uses an internet hotspot from inside a bus before performing at the Carnival of Havana. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
CUBA-INTERNET/
RTX3HU6Q
October 23, 2017
A man connects to the internet at a hotspot in Havana. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
Havana, Cuba
The Wider Image: For Cubans, Wi-Fi means family
A man connects to the internet at a hotspot in Havana. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
CUBA-INTERNET/
RTX3HU6M
October 23, 2017
People connect to the internet at a hotspot in Havana. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
Havana, Cuba
The Wider Image: For Cubans, Wi-Fi means family
People connect to the internet at a hotspot in Havana. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
CUBA-INTERNET/
RTX3HU5M
October 23, 2017
People connect to the internet at a hotspot in Havana. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
Havana, Cuba
The Wider Image: For Cubans, Wi-Fi means family
People connect to the internet at a hotspot in Havana. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
CUBA-INTERNET/
RTX3HU5N
October 23, 2017
People connect to the internet at a hotspot in Havana. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
Havana, Cuba
The Wider Image: For Cubans, Wi-Fi means family
People connect to the internet at a hotspot in Havana. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
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