Even though communications on the island are stuck in a time warp of decades ago, Netflix is now coming to Cuba, a service that only a select few with a reliable Internet connection will be able to enjoy.
The CEO of Netflix made the announcement Monday, boasting that islander who acquires the service will have access to 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 co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings said in a statement. “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.”
How much access to Netflix will Cuba have?
Accessing Netflix will be a two-sided problem: First you need to have unfiltered access to the Internet, which the government controls to make sure no pages critical of the government and it’s culture are accessible to the user. Then you need a connection thats actually reliable enough to for video streaming — in other words, nothing the speed of dial-up.
A third challenge for any islander desiring Netflix is payment method. In an island where most workers earn an average salary of a few hundred dollars a months, paying $7.99 a month for Netflix service wont be easy for the general population. Furthermore, US banking has not been established on the island at this point, even though U.S. issued Mastercards will soon be accepted on the island. In the meantime Cubans wishing to get Netflix will have to use third party payment vendors to pay their monthly subscription fees.
The company says it will offer programming similar to that being offered in other Latin American Countries, but pointed out that its original series, such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black will be available.