Google Global Cache makes its debut in Cuba

HAVANA — An Associated Press news item on Wednesday (April 26) reported that the “GGC nodes in Cuba finally went active in the past 24hrs,” quoting Doug Madory, director of analysis at Dyn Research.

“It is a milestone, as this is the first time an outside internet company has hosted anything in Cuba,” wrote Madory in an e-mail from his office in Manchester, N.H.

The AP announcement indicated that the Cubans already connected to WiFi could store several of the services provided by Google, “such as G-mail and YouTube,” in local servers. In Cuba, the local server is ETECSA, the state-run communications service.

The agreement was signed on Dec. 12, 2016, between Alphabet and ETECSA. Google is an Alphabet subsidiary.

“Video is very traffic intensive and cacheing [storing] popular videos locally will improve load time and relieve strain on ETECSA’s congested international links,” Madory added.

Progreso Weekly’s team talked to several Internet surfers in Havana’s WiFi zones, in an effort to verify whether they have gained speed, especially when it comes to videos.

Several of those interviewed (more than 10) admitted that they still haven’t noticed any difference in the speed of the Google services that are available to Cuba.

Besides, several have ascertained that the powerful Google still blocks several services to the island. Among these are the advertising sites Adwords and Adsense, the map visualization service Google Earth, and the information platform for developers known as Google Developer.

[Photo: Mayra Arevich, head of ETECSA, signing the deal in Havana on Dec. 12, 2016, alongside Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google parent company Alphabet.]

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