27 July, 2015
Cuba is one of a few countries whose people still have very limited use of the Internet. But some Internet users there have developed their own computer networks to communicate, share documents and even play games.
Many young people in Cuba use their mobile devices at government-operated community centers to get free Internet connections. This young man, named Kevin, likes the free connectivity.
He says that "Even though the community center connection doesn't have the highest speed, it is free. You can get on the Internet, most of the time."
Only a limited number of Cuban citizens have private Internet connections. Such connections are costly in Cuba. Foreigners can use the Internet at hotels, but the service is often pricey.
The Cuban government's promises of greater connectivity remain unfulfilled. But private citizens do own computers. And some of them are forming local networks to experiment, connect and communicate with others.
Marlon is a young computer user.
He says that, "By creating a local network, we created servers with games where people share with each other, they exchange ideas, debate all kinds of subjects -- sports, culture, music."
Cables and wiring usually go over tops of buildings. One cable can connect as many as 10 people in the same neighborhood.
Cubans know that computer game lovers in other countries play in competitions against gamers from faraway lands. They hope that someday they will be able to compete in gaming events over the Internet, too.
But the Cuban government's fear of the free flow of information may hamper their wishes for some time.
I'm Jonathan Evans.
VOA's George Putic reported on this story. Triwik Kurniasari adapted it for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.
Words in This Story
mobile – adj. able to be moved
unfulfilled – v. not yet come true
servers – n. the main computer in a network which provides files and services that are used by other computers in the network
hamper – v. to slow movement; to limit or restrict