Communications - Internet & WiFi
The «Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba S. A.» (ETECSA), in English: Telecommunications Company of Cuba, is the government owned service provider for the entire island of Cuba. Their services include: Telephone, Mobile Phone through their Cubacel branch, and internet through their NAUTA branch.
Since 2011 an underwater high-speed fiber-optic cable (called ALBA-1) has been connecting Venezuela to Cuba, this new connection considerably improved the public internet service in Cuba since January 2013.
Internet access in the hotels :
Almost every hotel and resort offers internet access to their guests, computers are usually located in the lobby area. You have to buy a NAUTA Prepaid Internet Card (about 5 CUC for 60 minutes) at the Front Desk. On these cards there’s a scratch-off area to reveal the user id (usario) and password (contresena) that you will use to sign-in using the access software installed on the computer. Don't forget to buy the right card, there's one type to be used on computers provided by the hotel, and there's one type to access internet through WiFi (when available) with your own device. Don’t forget to sign-out after your session so you can use the remaining minutes later.
Internet access at a ETECSA Internet Center :
As of June 2013, public access to internet has been increased through 118 internet centers nationwide (including a few in Varadero). You have to buy a NAUTA Prepaid Internet Card (30 or 60 minutes). These prepaid cards remain valid for 30 days from the first connection.
Wi-Fi Internet access :
Since late 2012 and 2013 more and more restaurants, cafes and hotels (usually in the lobby area) now offer Wi-Fi access for guests who prefer to use their own laptop, tablet or smart phone. Most hotels charge for this service, you have to buy a Nauta prepaid Internet card, about 5 CUC per hour), but some restaurants and cafés offer free WiFi if you eat or drink.
See also: Communications - Phone Calls