aNewDomain — With the launch of ETECSA Wi-Fi hotspots, many Cuban citizens will be connecting to the Internet for the first time. ETECSA has provided instructions for users, and they’re pretty advanced — they actually teach the user about the Internet!
How to access the new Cuba Wi-Fi hotspots …
You can see the original Spanish instructions here. They are pretty in-depth — for example, cookies and DHCP are defined for users, and an explanation of how to enable them is given.
The tutorial lets users know that the further you are from the access point, the weaker the signal strength will be. This is solid, necessary logic for teaching citizens about how to use the Internet, not just enabling them to do it. This tutorial mentions that there will be another one that will include plans for homemade antennae. That’s a real DIY approach.
The instructions explain that all users can download at a rate of 1Mbit per second (it actually says “1MB per second,” but it must mean “bit”) no matter how many people share one access point.
This implies that a fixed number of users are allowed to connect at the same time, and only those with relatively strong signals can connect in the first place.
Are there any aNewDomain readers out there that can verify this? Contact me via the comments below or via +LarryPress on Google + if you have more information.
Interestingly, ETECSA even gives users a way to check their download speed using Wget:
While not a computer science textbook, this user guide goes beyond rote “click this, then click that” instructions. It attempts to teach. The difference may be subtle, but people who have some understanding of the technology they are using will be more self-sufficient and less alienated.
I’ve written about Cuba’s improvising, DIY culture before, and this is another example of the country’s attitude towards new development. Building a homemade antennae? I don’t know of any government body that provides such information in the U.S.
For aNewDomain, I’m Larry Press.
Ed: A version of this story ran on Larry Press’ laredcubana. Read it here.
All screenshots: Larry Press courtesy ETECSA and norfiPC