Google signs deal with Cuba to improve islands internet connectivity

Cuba flagGoogle has penned a deal with Cuba’s telecoms monopoly ETECSA (Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba S.A.) to create a cost-free connection between their two networks.

By combining their networks, Google and ETECSA will boost internet speeds on the Communist-run island that lags a long way behind many countries in terms of connectivity. The only problem is that the memorandum of understanding cannot become a reality until the Cuban government creates a physical connection between its network and a Google ‘point of presence’ in either Florida, Mexico, or Colombia.

“The implementation of this internet traffic exchange service is part of the strategy of ETECSA for the development and computerisation of the country,” said the pair in a joint news release [in Spanish], read out at a news conference in Havana, according to Reuters. “The signing of this memorandum evidences that the interest of US companies in developing businesses with ETECSA remains.”

In order to figure out how best to physically connect their networks, Google and ETECSA have formed a joint working group of engineers.

Cuba is currently connected to the internet via a fibre-optic cable from Venezuela. And, earlier this week, the Caribbean nation signed agreement with Russia about increasing how much they work together on telecommunications.