Cuba has 74 PCs for every 1,000 inhabitants

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Havana, July 12: Cuba in 2012 had 74 personal computers for every 1,000 inhabitants, according to an index released on Thursday by the National Statistics Office, or ONE, showing the slow growth of the sector.

The ONE'S latest IT index places personal computer ownership at 56 per 1,000 inhabitants in 2008, the year when the government allowed PCs to be sold freely, growing to 62 per 1,000 in 2009 and to 70 in 2011. Last year it reached 74 in every 1,000 inhabitants.

According to the ONE, the total number of computers on the island in 2008 was 630,000, climbing in 2009 to 700,000 and topping 800,000 for the first time last year.

Statistics also indicate that Cuba, with a population of 11.2 million, had 2.9 million Internet users in 2012, almost 1.5 million more than in 2008.

A mere 15 percent of Cuba's inhabitants are currently connected to the Internet, and the vast majority have no access to the web at home, a possibility only permitted to certain professionals like doctors, journalists, academics, intellectuals and artists.

In June the government extended online services to the public with the opening of 118 new Internet establishments around the country, but with prices still considered out of reach for most of the island's citizens.

The Cuban state-run telecom ETECSA, which controls the entire sector, plans to start offering home Internet connections on the island in late 2014, one of the company's directors told EFE last month.

IANS

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