Netflix is coming to Cuba

Long overdue, the United States has finally loosened its trade embargo on Cuba. While it doesn’t give Americans the same level of travel, etc. benefits that others (like Canadians) enjoy, it does allow for more commercial trade between the two countries.

As such, one of the first major companies to announce it’s opening up business in Cuba is Netflix. However, as many have pointed out, its an odd and mostly symbolic move at this point. While a fourth of Cuba’s population has access to the Internet, extremely few have access to broadband fast enough to support the likes of Netflix. There’s also that the average Cuban person’s salary is at US$20 per month; Netflix is offering its Cuban service at the same price as here stateside, $8/month. An international payment means is also required. My guess is the only place Netflix’s service might be of any use is by tourists in resort spots.

One goal of increased trade will be to modernize Cuba’s telecommunications infrastructure. Hopefully, things will improve in terms of technology and economics, so that it won’t just be wealthy tourists who can binge-watch TV shows.

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