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Local Firm to Lay First Fiber-Optic Cable Between Miami and Cuba

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TeleCuba, a small Miami firm, says it has won permission from the Treasury Department to lay the first fiber-optic cable between Miami and Cuba. The announcement comes after the Obama administration eased some restrictions on telecom links to Cuba in April.

The line could make calling from Miami to Cuba a lot cheaper, as well as spread Internet access to the Cuban people, but the Communist government will have the final say about that.

The Cuban government places tight restrictions on Internet access. Only government employees, academics, and researchers are allowed to have their own accounts, but even then, many sites are blocked.

However, a small number of dissident bloggers, such as Yoani Sanchez, have been able to work around the rules to communicate with the outside world. New Timesfeature story two weeks ago chronicled Revolico, a Craigslist-like website, that brings Cuba's capitalist black market online.

TeleCuba expects the line to be operational by mid-2011.

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