Cuba has temporarily reduced the hourly charge for using state-run Internet cafes in the country’s first small but substantive public move to increase online access since the declaration of detente with the U.S.
Virtually all home Internet connections remain illegal and getting online at government centers remains prohibitively expensive, with the cheapest hour now costing roughly 10 percent of the average monthly salary of $20.
Users nonetheless hailed the decision to cut the rate by 50 percent until April 10 in state centers that previously charged $4.50 an hour. The promotion gives Cubans two hours and 16 minutes for $5.
President Barack Obama said late last year that Cuba had promised to increase Internet access, although U.S. and Cuban officials have since provided few specifics about what that could mean.