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CUBA-INTERNET/
RTX3HU61
October 23, 2017
At dusk, when the worst of the Caribbean heat has subsided, parks around Cuba fill with families video...
Havana, Cuba
The Wider Image: For Cubans, Wi-Fi means family
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. 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. 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 tiny share of homes has had broadband access until now, subject to government permission granted to some professionals such as academics and journalists. 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. Cubans who can afford it flock to Internet cafes and 432 outdoor hotspots where they brave ants, mosquitoes and the elements. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini SEARCH "MENEGHINI INTERNET" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY. Matching text: CUBA-INTERNET/
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