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Google set to give Cubans faster access to its services

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Google set to give Cubans faster access to its services

Google Inc. reached an agreement with the Cuban government to expand the media company's services in the Caribbean island nation, The Associated Press reported Dec. 9, citing "two people familiar with the agreement."

The deal — which is set to be officially signed by Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google and parent Alphabet Inc., on Dec. 12 in Havana will provide Cubans with faster access to the media company's content. Specifically, the deal gives Cubans access to a network called Google Global Cache that stores content from Google-run sites such as Gmail, Google Drive and YouTube on servers that sit within relatively short distances of end users around the world, according to the report.

Details of the agreement were not clear, including if the servers would be physically located in Cuba, or would just be closer than the ones used currently, according to the report. For most in Cuba, internet connections at home are banned, forcing them to use public WiFi spots which often run at very slow speeds.

The deal follows amendments to U.S. sanctions on Cuba, with new rules covering industries such as travel, telecommunications, internet-based services, business operations and banking.