Cuba Internet: Traffic Moves from Satellite to Undersea Cable [analysis]

undersea cable
Written by Larry Press

The development of Cuban Internet is under heavy speculation. Larry Press shows there’s a change in data traffic movement, from satellite to undersea cable. Analysis.

aNewDomainlarry-press-anewdomain — As you probably have figured out by now, I’ve been closely watching the telecommunication situation in Cuba. And ever since President Barack Obama proposed to end the strict embargo, speculation about Internet connectivity on the island has skyrocketed.

I’ve told you about evidence that a national backbone of Cuban connectivity in the works, and now I’ve got another intriguing piece information regarding the undersea cable.

Dyn Research is an Internet monitoring company that tracks usage, data and changes on the Internet. Doug Madory, its director of Internet analysis, recently sent me some statistics on Cuba’s international traffic.

First, check out the charts below. They clearly show that, on July 1, 2015 ,almost all Cuban satellite traffic — shown in blue and green — was re-routed to the ALBA-1 undersea cable. Scroll below the fold to see my analysis of what this could mean …

cuba traffic transit for etecsa cuban internet

Due to this, median latency has stabilized at around 210 milliseconds.

cuba traffic transit for etecsa cuban internet 2

What it means

undersea cable cuban internetOn the surface, this data points to great news ahead for Cubans who access the Internet via ETECSA hotspots, navigation rooms, school or work.

It also means there has to be relatively fast terrestrial connectivity to the cable landing point, located in Siboney Beach on the east part of the island.

We know that Shanghai Bell was a partner in the joint venture that installed the undersea cable and a Chinese loan may have been the source of funds. Huawei is providing equipment for home DSL and WiFi access projects.

I wonder if Huawei is also the vendor for an inter-province backbone using microwave and fiber? Time will tell, and I’ll be back with more information soon.

If any readers have more information about the nature of that connectivity, please comment or contact me.

For aNewDomain, I’m .

Ed: A version of this story ran on Larry Press’ laredcubana. Read it here.

Cable crosscut image: Undersea Cable via Wikimedia Commons 

Cover image:, All Rights Reserved.

Body images courtesy of Dyn Research