Thursday, November 01, 2007

Digital Iron Curtain Still Exists in Cuba and China

The Internet is a tightly controlled privilege in Cuba, reserved for the trusted elite. Private citizens are prohibited from buying computers or accessing the Internet without special authorization. Access in Cuba is limited to citizens who can prove they are engaged in research or connected to an accredited and approved institution.

Updated: According to UNESCO, there are only 6.71 phone subscribers per 100 residents in Cuba, 1 computer for every 42 persons, and only 1/10 of 1% of the population has direct access to the Internet (12,193 Internet subscribers out of a population of 11,313,000).

I guess they won't be visiting Carpe Diem, or any other blog or website, any time soon (see the map above of visits to Carpe Diem, click to enlarge)!

Aprovecha el dia!

Although I can't confirm this, I received an email from a loyal CD reader in Canada, who says that he has visited China twice in the last month for business, and CD is apparently banned in China, along with some other "unacceptable" blogs.

4 Comments:

At 11/01/2007 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark J. Perry said...

And only about 2% of Cubans even have telephones...

According to the Central Intelligence Agency's "World Fact Book" Cuba has a population of 11,394,043 (July 2007 est.) and telephone lines numbering 972,900 (2006) and cell phones numbering 152,700 (2006.

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/print/cu.html

In 2004, 534,975 of 767,319 land lines were in the residential sector according to José Antonio Fernández, president of ETECSA, the Cuban telecommunications company.

http://www.cubanlibrariessolidaritygroup.org.uk/news.asp?ID=73

So how can you say that only about 2% of Cubans even have telephones?

 
At 11/01/2007 12:07 PM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

I have updated the post to reflect a higher number of phones, I can't find the citation for the 2% figure, which I took from a previous post. Using the data from Anonymous, there is one residential phone for every 21.3 persons, still a pretty low number.

Probably a better statistic is to look at the number of Internet subscribers, which was only about 1/10 of 1% of the Cuban population in 2003: 12,193 out of a population of 11,300,000. It might be higher now, see my post for the source of the data.

 
At 11/01/2007 8:37 PM, Blogger leftside said...

The internet number is garbage too. A poll recently carried out by the IRI (Intl Republican Institute) found that 27% have access to email and that an additional 9% have access to email and the internet.

There are unfettered internet cafes all over Cuba - completely uncensored (but costly) according to RSF (Reporters Without Borders). There are 2 million Cubans receiving computer training at 600 computer clubs nationwide, where the intranet is 100% free. The issue is cost and efficiency, which are both a direct result of the US embargo. They can not link to the underwater fiber optic line the rest of the world uses, because it is US controlled. They must rely on slow and expensive satellite connections, which means they are forced to rationalize and prioritize internet access, lest the system become totally bogged down. Hospitals and universities get first dibs.

The Government has already contracted with Venezuela to build a new optic line, that will be the fastest in the world.

 
At 11/02/2007 1:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Updated: According to UNESCO, there are only 6.71 phone subscribers per 100 residents in Cuba, 1 computer for every 42 persons, and only 1/10 of 1% of the population has direct access to the Internet (12,193 Internet subscribers out of a population of 11,313,000).

According to UNESCO?

The "source" at the UNESCO web page is a dead address owned by the International Telecommunication Union in Switzerland. A search of the International Telecommunication Union's official web site reveals no such data is now publicly available. http://www.itu.int/search/pages/ituwebsearch/advanced.asp

I wonder if this is real data or something that UNESCO just made up?

 

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