President Obama this past December announced plans to begin normalizing relations with Cuba. While much of the ensuing discussion naturally focused on talking points such as politics and economics, the United States' more open attitude towards Cuba has implications in the world of tech as well.
Earlier this week, Netflix announced that its much-beloved Internet streaming service will, for the first time, be available to individuals in Cuba.
Starting today, people in Cuba with Internet connections and access to international payment methods will be able to subscribe to Netflix and instantly watch a curated selection of popular movies and TV shows.
“We are delighted to finally be able to offer Netflix to the people of Cuba, connecting them with stories they will love from all over the world,” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said in the company's press release. “Cuba has great filmmakers and a robust arts culture and one day we hope to be able to bring their work to our global audience of over 57 million members.”
Arguably, Netflix opening up access to Cubans is more of a symbolic gesture at this point. For starters, it's believed that just 5% of the country has access to high-speed Internet. Additionally, the $8 monthly price point for the service may be far too expensive for most Cubans, Internet access or not. Nonetheless, it's an interesting development and one has to wonder what other tech companies will make forays into the country in the coming months.