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  • Cuba is looking to make internet even more accessible.

    Cuba is looking to make internet even more accessible. | Photo: Reuters

Published 27 December 2014

Cuba's internet access and the telephone network will be dramatically improved in the new year.

The Cuban government will boost access to the internet on the island nation in 2015, communications officials stated Saturday.

According to Cuban officials who spoke to the newspaper Juventud Rebelde, the number of publicly run internet cafes will be boosted “significantly” to make it easier for Cubans to get online.

The government also plans to develop public wifi zones. Currently, over 20 percent of Cubans have access to the internet, according to government figures, and there are 154 free internet access cafes around the country.

Around 460,000 Cubans have access to their email via their mobile phones. The government also hopes to expand access to mobile phones by 800,000 next year – bringing the total to 3 million, roughly one per Cuban family.

Communications officials said they were looking at making the “necessary investments” to make internet more generally available in homes as well.

The news comes amid speculation the possible future roll back of the decades-old U.S. blockade could be a boon for Cuban telecommunications.

The U.S. and Cuba restored diplomatic ties earlier this month after U.S. President Barack Obama admitted that his country's half century attempt to defeat Cuba had failed.

However, last week Cuban president Raul Castro said his country faces a "long and difficult struggle" before the United States removes a decades-old economic blockade against the Caribbean island, in part because influential Cuban-American exiles will attempt to "sabotage the process" toward normalization.

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