Google, Cuba sign deal to improve data speeds

Google, Cuba sign deal to improve data speeds
© Getty

The parent company of Google and the Cuban government signed a deal Monday that will put servers in that country and allow faster access to the company's data.

By placing servers on the island, the move could improve internet speeds for those using its services in Cuba. Google data from Cuba must currently travel long distances through Venezuela to the nearest server. The U.S. has no direct data line to Cuba.

Alphabet Chairman Eric Schmidt signed the agreement with Cuba’s national telecom provider ETECSA on Monday after reportedly months of deliberations.


The servers will store Google’s “most popular high-bandwidth content,” like YouTube videos, resulting in speeds up to 10 times faster than what Cuban users are currently experiencing.

“This in turn means Cubans who already have access to the internet and want to use our services can expect to see an improvement in terms of quality of service and reduced latency for cached content,” Google said in a statement.

Google has been working with Cuba since President Obama historic move to open relations with the island country in 2014. The company launched Cuban versions of its products, including Google Chrome, Google Play and Google Analytics.

Both Obama administration and Cuban officials appear interested in completing pending deals ahead of President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpReporters defend CNN's Acosta after White House says he 'disrespected' Trump with question Security costs of Trump visit to Scotland sparks outrage among Scottish citizens Ex-CIA officer: Prosecution of Russians indicted for DNC hack 'ain't ever going to happen' MORE taking office in January.

Trump on the campaign trail threatened to undo Obama's diplomatic efforts with Cuba. That has many supporters of improved relations worrying about the fate of business deals, including resumed commercial flights.