After former President Obama reopened America’s diplomatic relations with Cuba, businesses started looking for opportunities to make inroads to the island nation. Google was one of these, with Obama himself announcing it would come to help set up WiFi and broadband access there. Cuba’s national telecom ETECSA officially inked a deal with Google back in December, and today, they finally switched on the service, making the search giant the first foreign internet live on the island.
To be fair, Google already had a headstart when it made Chrome availablein Cuba back in 2014. The servers Google switched on today are part of a the Google Global Cache (GGC), a global network that locally stores popular content, like viral videos, for quick access. Material stored in-country will load much quicker than Cuba’s existing setup: Piping internet in through a submarine cable connected to Venezuela. Many Cubans can only access the web through 240 public access WiFi spots scattered through the country, according to Buzzfeed. While this won’t bring Cuban internet near as fast as American access, it’s still a huge step forward.