Internet for Cubans: Censorship through Price
Recently an official with the Cuban government-run monopoly ETECSA has revealed that in September Cubans will be able to access Internet from their homes through several connection packages. Those will range from 10 to 220 hours and prices will vary from 10 CUC to 60 (1 CUC almost equivalent to $1 USD). If we take into account that salaries for Cuban workers range from 12 to 30 CUC per month, we can conclude that Internet access is being censored by the Castro government through extrremely high and unaffordable prices. In other words, Cubans will have the chance to be connected to Internet, but at a price they simply cannot afford.
In addition, Cubans cannot freely choose a service provider since all services and restrictions are under the control of ETECSA. After all these steps taken by the Cuban government in relation to Internet access, we have to wonder: Will Cubans ever be able to access open, uncensored, and unrestricted Internet at a price they can afford?
Under democratic forms of government, private companies attempt to find solutions to reduce the cost of Internet access, and in many cases access is free of charge (such as the case in Panama, pictured above).
One solution would be to support the Connect Cuba campaign to empower Cuban civil society with open, uncensored access to the Internet and the ability to communicate freely with each other and the world. After all, for over 50 years now, much longer than the internet and “World Wide Web” have been around, Cubans have been without the opportunity to choose. The time is now to change all that.