Cuba’s Ministry of Communications (MIC) has authorised state-owned telecoms monopoly Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba (ETECSA) to provide internet services to non-agricultural cooperatives from 29 June, the Cuba News Agency reports. According to MIC Resolution No. 396, internet access will only be provided from existing facilities on the premises of non-agricultural cooperatives and solely for use by those organisations. The cooperatives are required to comply with the current legislation on internet access and must pay the same rates and fees that currently apply to state entities.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that internet access in Cuba is largely restricted to legally recognised individuals and institutions considered most significant to the island’s culture and development, such as state officials and academics. Last year the government took a small step towards increasing availability of the internet to Cuban citizens with the announcement that it would begin offering access at a number of ETECSA outlets around the island from 4 June 2013. At CUC4.50 (USD4.50) per hour, however, browsing the web at these locations is priced well beyond the reach of the average Cuban.