Google chairman Eric Schmidt represented the Mountain View company in an agreement signed with the Cuban government’s telecom monopoly ETECSA today, which will hopefully provide residents of the island faster access to Google’s sites and services through the Google Global Cache network (via Reuters).
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Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc, signed the deal with Mayra Arevich Marin, president of state telecommunications monopoly ETECSA. It grants Cubans speedy access to the Google Global Cache network, which stores content from sites like Gmail and YouTube on servers located closer to end users.
While internet speeds are slow and expensive across the communist country (and this deal won’t actually help that much at a fundamental level, at least not at first), this deal basically lets ETECSA use Google technology to reduce latency for some content by caching it at a local level. One of the obvious uses for this would be YouTube, which would load faster if cached on local servers.
“This deal allows ETECSA to use our technology to reduce latency by caching some of our most popular high bandwidth content like YouTube videos at a local level,” a Google spokesperson told Reuters in a statement.
This comes 9 months after President Barack Obama name-dropped Google as one of the companies that would help Cuba improve its internet access. In an exclusive interview with ABC News, President Obama said at the time that “change is going to happen.” This is seemingly part of that change.