Young Cubans may be cut off from the Internet, but they have quietly linked thousands of computers into a hidden network that stretches miles across Havana. It lets them chat with friends, play games and download hit movies in a mini-replica of the online world that most can’t access.
They have created a private network of more than 9,000 computers with small, inexpensive, Wi-Fi antennas and Ethernet cables strung over streets and rooftops spanning the entire city. Disconnected from the real Internet, the network is limited, local and built with equipment commercially available around the world, with no help from any outside government, organizers say.
Hundreds are online at any moment.
SNet is technically illegal, but operators say they try to avoid provoking authorities, banning pornography and political discussions.