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Cuba to get full access to the Internet for mobile phones



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Andrea Rodriguez, The Associated Press

Published Tuesday 4 & # 39; December 2018 10:00 ET

Last updated Tuesday 4 & # 39; December 2018 10:23 PM EST

HAVANA – Cuba announced Tuesday night that its citizens will be offered full access to the Internet for mobile phones starting this week, and becomes one of the last nations to offer this service.

Mayra Arevich, president of the Cuban state telecommunications monopoly ETECSA, went on national television to say that Cubans can start contracting the 3G service for the first time Thursday.

Until now, the Cubans have access only to the mail accounts state on their phones.

The Cuban government has build a 3G network in cities around the island and some tourists, the Cuban government officials and foreign businessmen had access for several years.

The island governed community has one of the lowest rates in the world & # 39; use of the Internet but has been expanding rapidly since President Barack Obama and Raul Castro declared their diligence in 2014 . The expansion has not diminished with the return partial change of President Donald Trump.

Cuba authorized household internet in 2017 and hundreds & # 39; of & # 39 points; Public Wi-Fi connection opened in & # 39; parks and plazas across the country.

The new service will cost about 10 cents per megabyte, b & # 39; packages ranging from 600 megabytes to around $ 7 to four & # 39; gigabytes for about $ 30.

Those prices are roughly in line with & # 39; global standards but & # 39; reach for most Cubans to stay in salaries & # 39; the state & # 39; about $ 30 a month.

Cuba had a fiber optic connection to Venezuela in 2012, allowing the island to replace a satellite connections slow and expensive. Then began the slow process of citizens to come online.

The government opened Internet cafes run by the state in 2013, along with & # 39; Wi-Fi sites two years. The number of & # 39; has grown to more than 800 sites.

The Cuban Internet is the most uncensored but the government blocks handful & # 39; sites such as Radio networks and wife Television financed by the United States and others to promote systemic change in the island .

The President of ETECSA, Tania Velazquez, said that the new service comes in stages from Thursday to Saturday to avoid congestion to hit the mobile network during a series of & # 39; many criticized tests this year.

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