Friday, June 22, 2012

Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez Installing Fiber Optic Cable?

"Secrets are over. ... We are facing the most powerful weapon that has ever existed, which is communication," Castro told Mexican daily La Jornada in an August 2010 interview in which he hailed the coming cable.

It has been almost 2 years and unfortunately the Cuban people are still waiting for faster internet. The current network is still in the 90’s. At 3-5 kilobytes per second dial up transfer speeds a 500 megabyte video file would take between 28 and 46 hours from Itunes. People are swapping digital pictures on memory sticks rather than sending it as an e-mail attachment, what a nightmare.

The cable was strung from Venezuela with the help of key ally Hugo Chavez.

Government officials said from the start that the bandwidth boon would be prioritized for hospitals, universities and other usage deemed in service of the common good; the legions of Cubans with little or no access to the Internet from their homes would have to wait.

Why has this 70 million dollar project stalled? The project was carried out by Alcatel-Lucent of France for the state telecommunications companies of Venezuela and Cuba. A senior French official told the Associated Press that Alcatel had upheld its part of the contract and whatever problems exist must be on land with the network it was meant to be attached to. "The cable must be connected to something or it won't work," said the official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the politically sensitive project.

Jorge Arreaza, Venezuela’s science and technology minister, said that “a few months ago we signed all the remaining protocols, all the necessary security measures with the Cuban government. It’s absolutely operational. It will depend on the Cuban government what it uses it for. Of course that’s their sovereign matter, but we know that the undersea cable is in full operation,’’ Arreaza told reporters.

Its been over a year since the system was supposed to have gone online, Cuba’s government has not recently mentioned the cable. The Internet on the island remains the slowest in the Western Hemisphere. Perhaps Mr. Castro is not prepare to unleash the most powerful weapon that has ever existed.

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