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Google and Cuba’s state-run telecommunications company ETECSA have signed a deal that will enable faster access to content from the tech giant.

Under the deal, Google will install servers in Cuba to improve connectivity speeds to its services, including Gmail and YouTube.

ETECSA and Google have reached their agreement in the final weeks of Barack Obama’s presidency.

It is not clear whether Donald Trump will change US policies towards Cuba.

A high-speed fibre-optic cable connecting Cuba to the global internet appears to have finally been activated

Barack Obama restored relations with Cuba earlier this year, after more than five decades of hostility between the two former Cold War rivals.

President-elect Donald Trump has made arguments both for and against improved ties with Cuba since being elected last month.

Even though most Cubans are likely to see the deal with Google as a step forward, it will do little to change the overall online accessibility on the communist island.

Cuba still has one of the lowest online connectivity rates in the world.

The majority of the population is not allowed access to the internet from home and must rely, instead, on expensive Wi-Fi points to get online.

Google said in a statement: “This deal allows Etecsa to use our technology to reduce latency by caching some of our most popular high bandwidth content like YouTube videos at a local level.”

The agreement was signed in Havana by Alphabet Inc chairman Eric Schmidt and ETECSA president Mayra Arevich Marin.

Direct communications between the US and Cuba have been re-established for the first time in 15 years, Cuba’s state telecommunications company says.

The company, Etecsa, said initially the link would only be for phone calls.

Telephone calls have until now passed through a third country, making them very expensive.

It is the first agreement signed by the US and Cuba since the announcement last December that the two states would renew diplomatic ties.

Americans and Cubans will now be able to make direct calls to each other’s countries.

“The re-establishment of direct communications between the United States and Cuba contributes to providing better infrastructure and better communications quality between the people and our two countries,” Etecsa said.

Etecsa’s American counterpart, New Jersey based telecommunication firm IDT Domestic Telecom, said: “Ultimately, the agreement will make it easier and more affordable for our customers to call friends and family in Cuba.”Cuba and US restore direct phone link

According to the Miami Herald newspaper, Etecsa and IDT Domestic Telecom were in talks to restart international long-distance traffic between the two countries before the announcement in December.

A US delegation led by Daniel Sepulveda, the State Department Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs co-ordinator for international communications and information policy, will head to Havana later this month to meet their Cuban counterparts.

Cuban officials have said they are ready to work with US telecommunications companies.

“We confirmed we are ready to receive US telecom companies to explore business opportunities – business that could be of benefit to both sides,” Josefina Vidal, the Cuban foreign ministry official heading the Cuban delegation, said after the first round of US-Cuba talks in January.

Only an estimated 5% to 25% of Cubans have any type of Internet service.

However, since the December announcement, Cuba has temporarily cut the price of state-run Internet cafes from $4.50 an hour to $5 for over two hours.

The government has also said it plans to open more than 100 additional cafes this year.

Last year, Etecsa also launched a mobile email service, Nauta.cu.

In February, Netflix announced that Cubans with high-speed Internet connections and access to international payment methods would be able to subscribe to its popular film and TV show service.

However, few Cubans will be able to afford to access their service at the moment.