Information Technology in Cuba: Strategic Necessity

The implementation of IT in the society goes beyond Internet access and is connected with automation, Ministry of Communications IT director Magda Brito D´Toste told JR

By: Yurisander Guevara

Email: guevara@juventudrebelde.cu

2016-09-12 | 12:24:15 EST
The computerization plan includes every sector of the population. New projects need to boost technological capabilities infrastructure.The computerization plan includes every sector of the population. New projects need to boost technological capabilities infrastructure. Photo: Roberto RuizZoom

September 12, 2016  

 

Cuba moves on the development of specific programs aimed at IT implementation in the society with the support and direct commitment of every sector of economy Ministry of Communications IT director Magda Brito D´Toste told JR.

It implementation in the society goes beyond Internet access. It´s connected with automation, she said. There´s no point in increasing connectivity if the technologic infrastructure is not in tune with it.

IT implementation is related to the services offered to the population. The quality of process will be favored by IT use, stressed the IT director.

“For that reason we have devised a plan for IT implementation which includes every sector of the population, and the new projects have to boost the country´s technologic infrastructure.

Another target of the IT plan is the institutions´ process management. Likewise an impact on the population´s quality of life is sought.

In this regard, health is one of the sectors showing advances. Today, there are hospitals with pilot tests of digital medical record and interconnection is carried out in the pharmacy network and in blood banks.

We have increased connectivity in educational centers, and we´ll continue to do so, depending on the economy.

Also important is the creation of platforms for interaction online. CubaEduca stands out in the IT process. It has spaces to be used by teachers, pupils and relatives, she said.

The director also praised the Community Computer Clubs created 29 years ago with the aim of getting technologies closer to the population.

Reflejos website is available for Cubans to share topics of interest, while other audiovisual products like (estanquillo.cubava.cu) and (mochila.cubava.cu) are also offered online.

Improvement for advances             

Cuba´s IT implementation is promoted in every sector with adoption programs in a three to five year-period. She stressed.

In addition to the aforesaid advances in health, she referred to the bank sector. Here the cash dispensers have risen to more than 800. There are also more than 3.1 magnetic cards. The services of remote and phone banca have also increased.

-What is the role played by the human capital?   

- The recent creation of the Cuban Union of Computer Programmers brings together professionals of telecommunications and new technologies. Today it is in full swing having five programs identified.

These are focused on the staff´s training, IT, the services available for its members, inter-institutional relations and the management of knowledge.

-About Internet access from Cuba, how are we consuming products?, how restricted are we?       

-Wi-Fi spot have been installed in 109 municipalities, and at least the rest of the territories have navigation rooms.

“There are no political restrictions for Internet access, she stressed. We do admit that the access is limited for economic reasons, since the price is still high”

Brito D´Toste indicated that most access are registered in the social media, multimedia content and technology. However, she said that there are American websites which can not be entered from Cuban websites, since they are restricted by their managers.

On the other hand, the consumption of contents does not only move from Cuba to the world. We also receive many foreign users in our websites, with emphasis on Infomed and the Cuban Encyclopedia (ECURED).

-Considering the steps Cuba is taking to speed up IT making a more sustainable process, what´s your opinion about the celebration of the event Conferencia Cuba Internet Freedom based in Miami?  

 -We heard about this event taking place in the next few days. It would be good to discuss about the possibility to have access from Cuba to blocked websites abroad.

The most eye-catching aspect about this event is who are behind its organization, the director    said that according to the information posted on www.miamidiaro.com, this conference is an initiative from the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB), which has managed the TV and Radio Martí illegal broadcast.

OCB is supervised by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), US government federal agency responsible for supervising all radio and TV broadcasting since 1994.

“This is a clear sign that subversive actions are now developed on the Internet.”

Before the end, she reiterated a fundamental idea: “All the results we have shared, which are not the only, have materialized due to our country´s  will to get new technologies closer to the population, depending on the economic conditions.

Recently the 7th Congress of the Party and the National People´s Power Assembly in its 7th Regular Session recognized telecommunications, IT and connectivity as one of the country´s strategic economic sectors.”

Translated by ESTI       

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