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Cuba mobile email experiment causes chaos

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 16, 2014 at 10:52 am •  Published: May 16, 2014

HAVANA (AP) — The arrival of mobile phone email service was embraced with joy in Cuba, where most people have no internet access.

Tens of thousands of Cubans began emailing like crazy in March. Then service started to fail, taking much of Cuba's already shaky voice and text-messaging mobile service down with it

The island's aging cellphone towers became swamped by the new flood of email traffic, creating havoc for anyone trying to use the system.

The state telecom monopoly Etecsa has issued a rare apology and the troubles have eased. But the problems offer a rare window into the Internet in Cuba, where the digital age has been achingly slow to spread since arriving in 1996, leaving the country virtually isolated from the world of streaming video, photo-sharing and 4G cellphones.