Anthony Fisher on Cuba's Egalitarian Internet

In Cuba the web is terrible for almost everyone.



After visiting Cuba in 2014, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt wrote, "If Cuba is trapped in the 1950s, the Internet of Cuba is trapped in the 1990s." Affluent tourists might be charmed by the old Packards and scarcity of basic modern amenities, but nobody has fond memories of dialup speeds for web browsing and downloads that took days.

Supporters of the five-decade communist rule of the brothers Castro like to praise the island nation's universal education and access to health care, although the quality and quantity of both vary widely based on one's proximity to Havana and status among the political elite. Yet when it comes to Internet technology, writes Anthony Fisher, Cuba is truly egalitarian: The Internet is slow or inaccessible for almost the entire population. But that might be about to change.