Larry Press speculates on Google Global Cache giving faster internet access to Cubans

Posted: 11-Dec-16 11:48

Following a recent article by Associated Press reporting that today, Erich Schmidt, chairman of Google's parent company, would be in Cuba sign a deal with the Cuban government, Larry press has been quick to guess what such deal may entail and what it would mean for internet-hungry Cubans whose access to the world wide web remains very limited and painfully slow. If Associated Press' article is right, Google Global Cache is coming to Cuba, giving local users faster access to Google's content.

Larry Press speculates on Google Global Cache giving faster internet access to Cubans

Executive Chairman of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, Eric Schmidt is landing in Cuba today, presumably to sign off a deal with Cuban government officials that would see the arrival of Google Global Cache in the island.

Although exact details of what such an agreement involves have not yet been publicly revealed by either authority, since the two parties have been speaking on terms of anonymity, Associated Press has published an article in which, according to two sources familiar with such deal; Google is bringing Cubans faster access to its content with the implementation of Google Global Cache, a network that stores content from Google-run sites like YouTube, Google Drive, Google Plus and Gmail.

Larry Press has echoed the news while asserting that if Erich Schmidt is holding meetings in Havana today, it is because the agreement sign-off means that Google’s content and services are to be cached on ETECSA’s (Cuba’s only state-run telecommunications company) servers across Cuba. While we are waiting for the official announcement to be made at some point later today (consider local time in Cuba is five hours behind GMT), Larry Press says that not only will Cubans see improved internet performance, thanks to a reduced load on undersea cable connections, but they will also get access to and training on state-of-the-art technology that hasn’t reached the island yet.

If both sources are right and Google Global Cache happens in Cuba, and by now it seems very likely that it will, multiple caches in Cuba will also mean a relief for the country’s national backbone servers as well and it could lead the way for further investment by Google in the island.

This latest move is in line with the recent rush from Cuban officials to get as many important deals with the U.S. signed off before next U.S. President, Donald Trump, takes office on 20th January. This accelerated deal-signing is their last chance to build momentum and get more American companies operating in Cuba so that Trump sees the financial appeal in continuing such business relationships and more pressure is added for him to back away from his threat of ending the state of normalised relations between two countries, a thawing process that Obama kick-started over his last couple of years in office.

The new Google pact, expected to be publicly announced later today, will follow the approval that Cuban officials gave, less than a week ago, to three U.S. cruise companies that are to start sailing to Cuba next year. Likewise, other deals between U.S. companies and their Cuban counterparts, that have been in the pipeline for a little too long, are set to move faster over the next coming weeks, including one with General Electric, if other sources familiar with the negotiations are to be believed.

If this new Google deal proves to significantly improves internet access to a wider scope of the Cuban population, it would tie in with both sides of Congress’ push for Cubans to have better access to information, making it very difficult for Trump and other anti-Castro U.S. forces to undo.

For now, we’ll have to wait a few more hours until the official Google announcement is made, to see exactly how it will impact Cubans’ access to the internet and how quickly are such improvements going to be seen. If successful, Google would benefit from good publicity as well as potentially increase its client base, gaining users who click on their ads and use their web platforms, from YouTube to Google Drive.


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