01/22/13 - TG Daily - Cuba finally switches on undersea cable
Cuba appears to have turned on the first submarine cable to connect it to
the internet, nearly two years after it was completed.
According to internet monitoring firm Renesys, the cable's finally been
activated - but appears to be carrying traffic in one direction only.
While data's going in, it's not coming out. Renesys has deduced this from
the fact that latencies have fallen significantly, but not enough to imply
The cable - the Alternativa Bolivariana para los Pueblos de nuestra
América, or ALBA-1, was constructed following a 2007 deal between the
state-owned telecoms companies of Cuba and Venezuela.
But while construction was completed in February 201, Cuba continued to
link to the internet using satellite services from three different
providers - until now. Spanish telecom giant Telefonica has started
service to Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba (ETECSA), the state
telecom of Cuba.
"We believe it is likely that Telefonica's service to ETECSA is, either by
design or misconfiguration, using its new cable asymmetrically (i.e., for
traffic in only one direction), similar to the situation we observed in
Lebanon in 2011," says senior researcher Doug Madory of Renesys.
"In such a configuration, ETECSA enjoys greater bandwidth and lower
latencies (along the submarine cable) when receiving internet traffic but
continues to use satellite services for sending traffic."
However, despite the activation of the cable, ordinary Cubans aren't
likely to get much more access to the internet than they have at the
moment. While internet cafes exist, access costs as much as $6 an hour -
almost half a basic monthly wage. Partly as a result of this, the country
has the second-lowest level of internet connectivity in the world.
Original Source / Fuente Original:
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