Venezuela-Cuba Undersea Fiber-Optic Cable Begins Operating in July

After finishing its test phase on June 23, 2011, the recently installed Venezuelan-Cuban undersea cable will begin operating in July.

According to Venezuelan Minister of Science and Technology Ricardo Menéndez, the ALBA-1 cable, which is being laid by French company Alcatel-Lucent, will increase Cuba’s connectivity for Internet and telephone service by 3,000 percent. The US$72 million fiber-optic cable connects Cuba to the Internet via Venezuela and Jamaica. An extension is planned to eventually reach Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

This is the first high-speed broadband cable for Cuba, which has been shunned by United States-based undersea cable operators, and has had to rely on satellite connections to link up to the World Wide Web.  According to the United Nations, Cuba is the least cell-telephone and Internet-connected country in the Western Hemisphere, although this situation seems to be changing at the speed of . . . well, fiber-optic connections.

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Also see related post on Venezuela-Cuba relations at

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