Cuba signs deal with Google to speed up access to its services

It won't help get more people get online, but it's a start.


A lot has happened since President Obama announced that Google would work with Cuba to speed up its internet. There's a new president in waiting and Fidel Castro has passed away, but the pledge to boost the country's connectivity is moving along thanks to a new agreement between the search giant and Cuba's national telecommunications company ETECSA.

As part of the deal, Google will install servers on the island, allowing ETECSA to locally cache and serve the most popular high-bandwidth content, like YouTube videos. This reduces latency, giving Cubans who already have access to internet a better quality of service.

Over the past couple of years, Google has launched a number of its products in Cuba, including Chrome, Google Analytics and the Play Store. Its most recent deal will help those with internet access enjoy more content but it won't improve Cuba's aging infrastructure or increase the number of people going online, at least not right now.