Cuba Finally Gets Faster Internet—in One Direction

Inbound connection is fast, uncensored, researcher says

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 22, 2013 1:03 AM CST

(Newser) – A fiber-optic cable to Venezuela is up and running and surfing the Internet in Cuba is no longer like watching Fidel Castro's beard grow, though connections are still pretty slow overall, analysts tell the Miami Herald. But the faster Internet only seems to be moving in one direction, with inbound traffic to Cuba going via cable and outbound traffic going via the old satellite links that made the island's Internet connections among the world's slowest.

A researcher at Internet-monitoring firm Renesys says the faster connection appears to be another sign Cuba is becoming "freer and more open"—especially since it sped up on the same day that new rules making it easier to leave the island came into effect, the BBC reports. The researcher says he doesn't believe Cuba has a Chinese-style firewall operating, as the traffic patterns do not show any sign of the periodic slowing down associated with censorship software.

A fiber-optic cable to Cuba, suspended from buoys, is rolled out by a specialized ship off the Venezuelan coast.   (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos, File)
People are reflected in an advertisement for Internet, chat and e-mail at a state-run computer center in Havana, Cuba.   (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes)
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