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Tue Dec 4, 2012, 06:38 AM

Cuba cuts tax on $3-a-minute calls to US

Cuba cuts tax on $3-a-minute calls to US
Tax established in 2000 eliminated
UPDATED 12:39 AM EST Dec 01, 2012
By Patrick Oppmann CNN

HAVANA, Cuba (CNN)
The Cuban government on Friday reduced its expensive telephone rates between the island and the United States.

The government is scrapping a 10% tax it imposed on calls between the two countries in 2000, it announced.

The largest population of Cubans outside the island resides in the United States, and calls between the two countries typically top $3 a minute.

"A reduction in the rates to be charged for international calls will favor an increase in international telephone communications to and from our country," the announcement said.

More:
http://www.wcvb.com/news/national/Cuba-cuts-tax-on-3-a-minute-calls-to-US/-/9848944/17615626/-/do3v49/-/index.html#ixzz2E5APzDUA

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 05:45 AM

1. A seven minute phone call costs a MONTH'S WAGES?

Wow I am so glad to have unlimited calling.

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Response to FrodosPet (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 10:31 AM

2. yep, its outrageous and they have no alternative since the Cuban

government won't activate the internet system even though the undersea cable was installed about 2 years ago. People would be able to use things like messenger and Skype. Of course, the Cuban government doesn't want that.

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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 05:18 PM

3. How does one "activate" a fiberoptic cable and instantly give everyone hi-speed internet?

Cuba's phone lines and systems are rather antiquated (much of which are a result of the US's extraterritorial sanctions on telecom companies that could build it out).
Phone modems only for most that have phones. No Skyping on phone modems.
It'll take billions of dollars for infrastructure upgrades to do all that. Cuba doesn't have access to credit for such undertakings (thanks again to the US sanctions on corporations that do business with Cuba).
The US collectively is suffering from Munchausen By Proxy Syndrome - creating the problems, blaming the victims, and (hopefully for US transnational corporations) coming in to fix the problems and save the day - for a nice profit from privatization of Cuba's gov't/telecom infrastructure.

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Response to Mika (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 05:27 PM

4. Here are some links

 

It would appear that Cuba just doesn't want its citizens to have easy internet access. It's too bad. You would be able to skype your relatives there but Castro doesn't want you to.


Fiber-Optic Communications Cable Arrives In Cuba

HAVANA A long-awaited undersea fiber-optic cable linking Cuba with the outside world arrived on the island on Wednesday, promising a bandwidth bonanza for a country saddled with exorbitant telephone rates and among the slowest Internet connection speeds on the planet.

The cable connecting Cuba with key ally Venezuela was brought ashore in the eastern resort of Siboney in a ceremony attended by dignitaries from the two countries, the state-run Prensa Latina news agency reported.

The cable is not expected to be operational until the summer, but its arrival is a landmark for an island that often feels cut off from the outside world, 52 years after Fidel Castro's revolution turned it from decadent American playground to crumbling Soviet satellite.

When finished, the cable is expected to increase Internet speed 3,000-fold and be capable of handling about 80 million simultaneous phone calls.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/09/cuba-internet-fiber-optic-communication-cable_n_820864.html

Venezuela's science and technology minister says an undersea fiber-optic cable that was laid last year between Venezuela and Cuba is working.

Jorge Arreaza says the cable is, in his words, "absolutely operational." He says it will be up to Cuba how it uses the cable on the island.

The project was carried out last year by Alcatel-Lucent SA of France for the state telecommunication companies of Venezuela and Cuba. The cable was laid starting in Venezuela and reached eastern Cuba in February 2011.



http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/05/24/venezuela-fiber-optic-cable-to-cuba-is-working/

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Response to naaman fletcher (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 05:35 PM

6. yes, we were hearing back then that this was the salvation, now we hear excuses n/t

s

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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 03:32 AM

12. Cuba is small enough it could be the first country to have a true grid.

All those clandestine wifi networks along with superwifi tech, and pow, they could have a grid, but I dunno if that's even a remote possibility given the Cuban governments resistance to free information flow.

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Response to Mika (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 05:35 PM

5. Here's an example of how service could be provided, if the castro's wanted to

 

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Response to Mika (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 05:41 PM

7. I don't know, perhaps Cuba should have been working on that before bringing in the cable

Kind of stupid to have a ceremony highlighting this "great success" (welcome to the world Cuba!!!!) and spend all that money but not have any means of utilizing it.

I tend to believe more in NF's position that they are trying to figure out how to limit it, and/or monitor.

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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #7)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 05:42 PM

8. It's worth noting..

 

They were able to finance bringing in the cable.

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Response to naaman fletcher (Reply #8)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 03:33 AM

13. It was practically a gift from Venezuela.

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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #7)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 03:27 AM

10. The pipe wasn't meant for the people, it was meant for the elites and tourists.

I bet you that a tourist has or will have access to that pipe. Cuba has been monitoring, literally monitoring everything on the internet for decades, and they're terrified of the prospect that they won't be able to do that anymore (SSL / TOR, good luck with that!).

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Response to Mika (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 03:26 AM

9. Wirelessly hooking up the entire island would be a few million dollars.

It would be trivial. And given that many Cubans already have clandestine wifi networks, it'd be even easier. Let the Cuban people have access to the pipe, they'll find a way.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 11:58 AM

14. Not many, very few have internet access in Cuba.

Having spent a lot of time there, its nearly impossible to find an internet connection outside of a Hotel. A few have "intranet", which is basically just e-mail and Cuban-govt. sites.

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Response to Daniel537 (Reply #14)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 07:48 PM

16. wifi LANs don't have to have internet to work.

A lot of Cubans, I don't know how many, have access to wifi LANs (to share files, play games, etc). It was part of the reason for the MININT Cyber Lecture, since it's hard to shut down clandestine wifi networks. Have to do door to door triangulation, then you have to explain why they aren't allowed to share wifi with one another, it gets tricky.

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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 12:14 PM

15. The embargo is the main reason why these phone costs are so high.

Get rid of it and people will be able to talk for hours on end for a few bucks at most.

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Response to FrodosPet (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 03:30 AM

11. Many dissidents actually get their phones charged by sympathizers.

So it's not too bad for them.

Of course, by getting their phones charged by foreigners they're labeled terrorists and such.

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