Wifi also known as Wee Fee

Internet, wireless or otherwise, is a luxury in Cuba.

Lined up along a building on Obispo Street using the wifi.

When people say that there’s isn’t any Internet in Cuba they aren’t kidding and the idea of free wifi is an absurd one. 

The government controls everything about the internet, from who can access, at what cost, the bandwidth speed, and what sites are censored (although they might not call it that.)

The legal way of accessing the internet is to wait in line at the ETECSA to buy an internet scratch off card.  Once you find a hotspot - outside along the exterior of random buildings (and not every building, I'd say it was usually a good 15 - 20 minute walk between the hotspots that I found and knew of) - you could then login into the wifi network using the ETECSA login and password on your scratch off card.  The alternative to standing in the long ETECSA lines was to find someone selling the scratch off cards on the blackmarket.  Which wasn't hard to do at all.  As a tourist all it took for me was to wander around the wifi hotspot until someone quietly inquired, "Weefee?"  I'd hand over my 3.00 CUCs and the deal was done.  

If you're willing to stand in line I believe you can get the cards for a little cheaper, maybe 2.00 or 2.50 CUCs but the long lines never looked appealing.  

Each card bought you 60 minutes of time online.  You could also use the internet at some hotels, though the only places I found this to be true were state run hotels, never a casa particular.  Which makes sense given that casa particulars are private rooms rented from a family and it's said that only 5% of Cubans have access to the Internet let alone 24/7 access in-home.  I bought internet time when I was at the Hotel Nacional which cost 20.00 CUCs (the equivalent of $20 USD) for 24 hours but didn't realize that once I checked out of the hotel that I forfeited all the extra time I had purchased but didn't use.  Unfair in my mind, but I was in Cuba.  The connection at the Hotel Nacional was so weak that you'd have to login in at least five times in 30 minutes.  Later when I wasn't a guest at the hotel but wanted to get online I paid something like 5.00 CUCs for 15 minutes!  I thought this was absurdly expensive, imagine making 25.00 CUCs a month which is the average official salary of a someone in Cuba.  It's no wonder only 5% of the country has access to the internet.

It’s insane to think that the government has control over the whole thing.  Cuba Libre?

The loooong slow line for wifi scratch off cards sold by ETECSA