ETECSA, IDT reach pact to carry long-distance voice service between U.S. and Cuba

Cuba's state-owned telecom provider ETECSA has struck an agreement with U.S.-based IDT to provide direct international long-distance voice calls between the two countries.

The agreement, which was signed with the FCC yesterday, is now subject to a 10-day review by the regulator.

If this deal is approved, it will become the first telecom service deal between the U.S. and Cuba, making IDT the only U.S.-based service provider with a direct interconnection to Cuba.

"This is an important first step in the liberalization of telecommunications between the U.S. and Cuba," said Bill Pereira, CEO of IDT Telecom, in a release announcing the new pact. "Ultimately, the agreement will help make it easier and more affordable for our customers to call friends and family in Cuba."

IDT is just one of a growing group of companies finding a way to do business with the communist-ruled country. Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) recently announced that it plans to offer its streaming video services in Cuba, where it will become one of the first U.S. companies to expand following the relaxation of relations between the two countries.

For more:
- see the release
- Reuters has this article

Related articles:
Netflix's international ambitions stretch to Japan- and Cuba
Cuba's ETECSA to provide residential DSL services in 2014
Cuba's ETECSA to broaden Internet access reach
Cuba's submarine cable is finally activated
U.S. government wants clarity on Telefonica's Cuba business dealings

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