14ymedio, Juan Diego Rodríguez, Havana, 24 March 2022 — In Cuba, the telecommunications services of the state monopoly Etecsa stopped working this Thursday morning for about an hour, a problem that the company attributes to an energy failure and that increases uncertainty about the capacity of the Island’s National Electric System.
“Etecsa informs that due to a power failure there has been instability in the voice service, SMS, mobile data, as well as recharges and purchase of packages. At this time, the affected equipment has already been restored, which will allow the services to be restored progressively,” the company explained on its official Twitter account.
The first problems have begun to be noticed in the lack of data connection in Havana, where the newsroom of 14ymedio has kept in touch through text messages.
However, several users on social networks reported the impossibility of making calls or sending SMS texts.
“The problems with the Internet connection for Mobile Data continue. Right now they do not work. I report from Pinar del Río,” said a user. Another confirmed that it was also happening in Ciego de Ávila. One more tweeted that it was only possible to connect via wi-fi.
In Havana, nervous glances at cell phones and questions showed people’s anxiety at not having service. “Something big must be happening,” said a nurse at the gates of the Calixto García hospital.
Many Cubans have feared that the cutoff was intentional, as happened during the July 11 protests to prevent further information about the demonstrations from circulating. At that time, the Island remained “blind” for three days.
However, ultimately, and according to the company’s version, the problem is of another type, although no less serious. Last week, with the loss of the National Electric System of the Antonio Guiteras thermoelectric plant in Mariel due to a breakdown, added to the stoppage for works after the fire in the Máximo Gómez plant in Mariel, in Artemisa province, fears began of a new era of great blackouts and energy rationing.
The last week has also been marked by the lack of fuel and rationing of gasoline and diesel in Havana and Matanzas, attributed to power plant failures.
The drop in service also coincides with the international Informatica 2022 event, a convention in which Etecsa intends to set the guidelines for digital transformation in Cuba.
Despite the fact that the company has apologized, users’ spirits have not calmed down, since some of them say that they have been charged for megabytes consumed during a period of time in which they could not connect to anything.
A little over a year ago, in February 2021, there was another outage for technical reasons that left the country without internet as well. At that time there was not even a Wi-Fi or cable connection, and the official pages were offline for at least two hours.
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