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Cuba's first submarine fiber optic cable in operation

TeleGeography reports that state-owned telecoms operator Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba (ETECSA) has confirmed that internet traffic is being carried by the island's first submarine fibre-optic cable.

Citing an article published in Granma, a Cuban newspaper, the telecoms monopoly said that the Alternativa Bolivariana para los Pueblos de nuestra America (ALBA-1) cable, which connects Cuba to Venezuela, has been carrying international voice traffic since August 2012, while data traffic tests have been carried out on the cable since January 10, 2013.

ETECSA noted that when the testing process is completed, the cable launch will not automatically mean that the possibility of access will increase as further investment in the domestic telecoms infrastructure is required. Further, it said, even then the goal is "gradual growth of a service that we offer mostly for free and with social aims in mind."

The story said that historically, Cuba has had to access the internet via expensive and slow satellite connections, but earlier this month Renesys, an internet monitoring firm, observed that the ALBA-1 cable had finally been activated, almost two years after the system first landed on the island.

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