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Google Signs Deal with Cuba before Obama Leaves Office

Update Date: Dec 14, 2016 10:17 AM EST

Not only is Christmas Day coming to Cuba but also faster internet speed where Google services are available and make it 10 times faster.

Cuba will remain one of the countries with slowest internet speed, at least, in the short term. Eric Schmidt, chairman of Alphabet Inc., Google's sister company, has finally signed a deal in Havana with Mayra Arevich Marin, president of State Enterprise of Telecommunications of Cuba (ETECSA), to provide faster access to the internet and Google content, including Gmail and Youtube, by installing servers in the communist country. 

In the past, Cuban government restricted the people to own cellphones and home computers, and it was only in 2008 when it was lifted, with home computers still remaining illegal to most citizens up until now and after the deal is signed. Only the minority of the Cuban people has slow internet speed in the state nation, while others don't have access at all. Although big cities and malls have become wi-fi hot spots, still only a few use the internet due to its being expensive but slow, being not what users deserve. It costs about $2 per hour and is higher compared to $25 salary a month.

But this deal will change it. Google's vice president for access strategy and emerging markets, Marian Croak, and Brett Perlmutter who heads the strategy and operations for Google Cuba and the lead negotiator of the deal, said that Cubans who already have access to the internet and want to use their services can expect to see an improvement in terms of quality of service and reduced latency for cached content, Aljazeera reported. 

Other companies that host contents in the island nation will not be affected. 

Cuba had no diplomatic relations with the United States until in 2015 when Barrack Obama revived them. USAToday reported that, according to  Alana Tummino, head of the Cuba working group at Americas Society/Council of the Americas, the Cuban government has become suspicious that the US will exploit the internet access and threaten their national security. But she says it is the step to the right direction.

The deal was set before Obama leaves his office.

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