​Accessing the Web from Cuba’s WiFi Hotspots
Locals surf the web using a nearby access point.

​Accessing the Web from Cuba’s WiFi Hotspots

The only way to access the internet on your own device in Cuba is to go to a series of newly opened wifi hotspots around the country.
August 20, 2015, 8:05pm

From the column 'Photos From Beyond'

The only way to access the internet on your own device in Cuba is to go to a series of newly opened wifi hotspots around the country. There is usually one in every big town, and about five in Havana.

To get online, you have to buy a scratch off card for about $2 and stand in a very long line at a store run by a regulator called ETECSA. These cards often sell out and are hard to get your hands on, often because they end up being bought out by internet dealers—people who sell the cards for $3 or more at the hotspots themselves. These networks are insecure, censored, monitored, and the wifi areas are under camera surveillance.

People waiting in line to purchase cards to access the web.

A sign inside a restaurant lets patrons know that there is no wifi inside.

People congregating near a local wifi hotspot.

Teenagers accessing the web with mobile devices.

It is common to see cars pulled over near wifi access points where some may drive two hours to use the internet.