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Cuba Legalizes Private Wi-Fi, Importation Of Routers

cuba_daily_life.jpg
Associated Press
A woman works in a government office where a sign hangs on the wall that reads in Spanish: "Down with the embargo" in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, April 17, 2019.

Cuba is legalizing private Wi-Fi networks and the importation of equipment like routers, eliminating one of the world's tightest restrictions on internet use.

The measure announced by state media Wednesday provides a legal status to thousands of Cubans who created homemade digital networks with smuggled equipment that was illegal but generally tolerated by authorities in recent years. It also appears to allow private businesses to provide internet to customers, the potential start in Cuba of internet cafes that are virtually unknown here.

While the new regulation permits citizens to connect to the internet with their own equipment and share the signal with others, it does not loosen state control of the internet itself. Cuba's telecoms monopoly, Etecsa, remains the only internet provider on the island.