19 March 2018

Cuba

Cuba has one of the lowest rates of internet usage in the Western Hemisphere, and access to media is strictly restricted—but that doesn’t stop Cubans from watching Game of Thrones. Their secret is El Paquete Semanal (“The Weekly Packet”), a clandestine in-person file-sharing network that distributes hard drives and flash drives full of media.

Nobody quite knows how El Paquete, which has thrived since the mid-2000s, is created or how it makes its way across the country every week. But Cubans have come to rely on the pervasive distribution of music, TV, and movies—not to mention pirated software and e-commerce platforms.El Paquete

The Cuban broadband internet penetration is 0.007% (8,157 connections for 11 million people) and the cost of an hour of Wi-Fi access is around $2, roughly 10% of the average monthly salary. This is why we do user research because what we consider normal is utopia for others.