Google signed a storage agreement in Cuba
The deal will not increase the number of Internet users in the communist country, but Cubans who already have Internet access will connect to Google services faster.
Google has signed an agreement with Cuban state telecom provider ETECSA. The agreement will allow Google to store data in data centers in Cuba.
Alphabet (Google's parent) Eric Schmidt has specifically arrived in Havana to sign an agreement with ETECSA.
Currently, Google's closest Google servers are located in Venezuela. But once the agreement is signed, the ETECSA provider will be able to store the most popular content from Google locally, such as YouTube videos. This will allow you to download content almost 10 times faster.
The agreement was signed two years after President Barack Obama began the historic process of normalizing US-Cuba relations.
Although the agreement between Google and ETECSA will bring some improvements for Cuba's Internet users, Internet accessibility in the Isle of Liberty will remain extremely low. According to the American Council, as of 2014, only 3.4% of Cubans had internet in their homes, and 25.7% used the Internet during the year. Such low rates are due to the fact that home internet is very expensive in Cuba and, moreover, illegal. In general, the Cuban Internet is subject to considerable censorship by the state. Cuba is considered to be the country with the lowest Internet accessibility in the world.
In 2014, before Barack Obama announced relations with Cuba, Eric Schmidt, along with other Google representatives, visited Freedom Island in order to promote the development of free and open Internet in Cuba.
The question of how relations between Cuba and the US will change after Donald Trump's inauguration remains open.