HAVANA, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- Cuban state-run Telecommunication Company SA (ETECSA) announced on Thursday its intention to expand Internet service to individual homes, so far only available in Havana, to the whole country before the end of 2017.
"As part of the intention to bring Internet to Cuban homes, from September 29 on, ETECSA will continue to commercialize gradually the Nauta Hogar (Home Web) service, incorporating all provinces by December," an ETECSA official told reporters.
Amarelys Rodriguez, ETECSA Operations Director in Havana, explained that the service will first begin in the western province of Pinar del Río.
"Everyone with a fixed telephone at home will be a potential customer," she said.
The offer consists of an allowance fee of 30 hours of Internet per month costing 15 CUC (15 U.S. dollars) at its lowest speed, and rising for faster increments.
This fee remains expensive for most Cubans, with an average monthly salary of 20 CUC (20 U.S. dollars). However, Communication Minister Maimir Mesa said in July that the government anticipated "prices becoming more affordable."
Last July, the Cuban government announced its purpose to increase the population's access to the Internet, as part of a program aimed at enhancing "citizens' access to new technologies."
According to official figures, Cuba has four million Internet users, including 1.5 million who receive it through accounts secured through the government.
Cuba has 4.3 million mobile phones and is focusing on increasing the national production of laptops and tablets.