Cuba legalises Wi-Fi routers in private homes

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Cubans will be able to get Wi-Fi in their homes for the first time, the government announced on Wednesday, relaxing yet more restrictions in one of the most disconnected countries in the world.

The measure, announced by state media, provides a legal status to thousands of Cubans who created homemade digital networks with smuggled equipment.

These DIY networks had been illegal but were generally tolerated by authorities in recent years.

It also appears to allow private businesses to provide internet to customers, the potential start in Cuba of internet cafes, so far virtually unknown.

The new rules will go into effect on July 29, bringing about an end to the practice whereby Cubans would have to buy an internet access card, then gather beneath an internet signal point – often in the main plaza of a town – to get connected. The cost was prohibitive for many.

Cuba’s government has been slowly opening up the island to the internet for several years, with a strong shove in that direction given by Barack Obama, who visited in March 2016 – the first US president to travel to Havana in almost 80 years.



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