Last updated: 02:30 PM ET, Mon March 21 2016

Obama Unveils Google's Plan For Cuban Internet Access

Travel Technology | Gabe Zaldivar | March 21, 2016

Obama Unveils Google's Plan For Cuban Internet Access

Image via YouTube

This is a tremendous week for news regarding Cuba. President Obama is in the country, meeting with President Raul Castro and taking in a state dinner at Revolutionary Palace. But one of the more interesting notes from the visit revolves around Internet accessibility.

In an exclusive ABC News interview, Obama offered an optimistic outlook that would alter the Cuban landscape.

Most notably is from the realm of Internet infrastructure and the rather vague promise that Google would lend its hand in setting up a network for the island country.

Here is that brief interview:

As the video reminds, Calvin Coolidge was the last president to set foot on Havana soil. Obviously, a lot has changed since that time.

The world has become a lot smaller thanks to the Internet. Travel, in particular, has been revolutionized thanks to the ability to connect with family and friends while living abroad. And there is now a wealth of travel tips, maps and other crucial tools at our respective fingertips thanks to the advent of web-spewing smartphones.

As we outlined in a previous article, however, Internet access in Cuba is relatively tight, restricted and just plain rare.

Posed with that concern, the president offered the following news: “Well, that’s part of why some of these changes can be so significant. One of the things that we’ll be announcing here is that Google has a deal to start setting up more Wi-Fi access and broadband access on the island.” 

As one might glean from reports and the video above, change doesn’t come overnight in this regard. Evolution for the country will take time. But to borrow Obama’s analogy, the ball has already started to roll.

In time, the Internet that envelops most of the globe will also cover a larger swath of the Cuban people.

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