Cuba & Internet access

Lueko Willms Lueko.Willms at
Thu Jul 10 06:52:00 MDT 2003

in reply to
# Subject: Re: Cuba & Internet access
# From: "Eli Stephens" <elishastephens at>
# Date: Wed, 09 Jul 2003 09:56:48 -0700

>  When phone calls are placed from 
> Cuba to the United States, is Cuba then sending money to AT&T 
> (or whomever) to pay for these? 

  Yes, that's the way in international communications. The
administration (or telco) where the call originates ows a certain sum
to the telco where the call goes to. So also ATT, MCI/Worldcom,
Sprint, and what have you, owe money to the Cuban telecoms company
for calls originating in the USA and terminating in Cuba. 

  I'm sorry that I can't be very precise at this moment, because I
don't find the necessary documents rapidly enough. 

  Actually, there are more calls from the US to Cuba than the other
way around, so the US-american telcos owe money to Cuba. As far as I
know, this money is frozen because of the blockade. 

  A couple of years ago there was a public controversy where, if I
remember well, Cuba tried to break lose this money. In that process
Cuba introduced a 10% tax on such phone calls. I will try to find
more concrete and factual information on this. 

> Can they (do they) access the Internet via long distance 
> phone to Mexico rather than the US (since once you're on the 
> Internet in one  place, you're on it everywhere)? 

  That's not the way it would go. There are a number of Internet
service providers in Cuba, where people can dial in to get IP and DNS

  Between the IP nodes, including the dial-in nodes, there are fixed
lines for higher volume traffic. Internationally it might go via
satellite links or sea cables (BTW, there was a sea cable between
Cuba and Florida from the old times, but I don't know if it is still

  The international Internet links from Cuba go typically to Canada,
Spain or Italy, and from there thru the whole world, including the

  Also note, that some of the Cuban Web servers are actually located
in Canada or Spain, just to save bandwith. 

  As to eMail access, I know some Cubans who have eMail accounts with
Yahoo or similar outfits outside of the country. Once you get access
to an IP service, you can access those web sites and register an
email account, when it is free. One was using some embassy's IP
account to get to the Internet, and then to his Yahoo account... 

Lüko Willms 
/ Lueko.Willms at 

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