Google Is Officially the First Foreign Internet Company in Cuba

April 27, 2017, 12:12 PM UTC

Google’s internet servers are officially live in Cuba, making it the first foreign search engine to go live in the island nation.

The tech-giant officially launched its Google Global Cache service on Wednesday, making it easier for Cubans to access sites, Buzzfeed News reports. For decades, Cuba was cut off from the U.S. and its companies—until former President Obama reopened America’s diplomatic relations in July 2015. Shortly after relations were re-opened, many U.S.-based firms, including Google (GOOGL), saw an opportunity within the nation, notes Engadget. The company signed a deal with the Cuba’s national telecom ETECSA in December.

But despite the milestone, Google’s presence won’t do a lot to increase internet connectivity for the average person in Cuba, Buzzfeed News reports.

Cuba has the lowest level of internet connectivity in the western hemisphere—namely because of its limited access to public wi-fi spots, as well as the cost: An hour of internet access is about $1.50 in Cuba, according to Buzzfeed News—a high price for most Cubans, considering that the average person there only make $25 a month.

Perhaps that’s why Google made rather modest claims when it first announced its Cuba plans. Back in December when the company announced it had signed the deal, Google executives wrote in a blog post that “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.”

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