HAVANA, Feb 20 (Reuters) – U.S.-based telecom company IDT Corp has reached an agreement with Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba S.A. (ETECSA), Cuba’s national telecom provider, to provide international long distance telephony between the United States and Cuba directly.
The company said that the agreement was filed today with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and is subject to FCC review for a period of ten days. FCC was not immediately available for comment outside regular business hours.
If the agreement takes effect, IDT will be the only U.S. carrier to have a direct interconnection into Cuba. “This is an important first step in the liberalization of telecommunications between the U.S. and Cuba,” said Bill Pereira, Chief Executive Officer of IDT Telecom in a statement.
IDT joins a list of U.S. companies looking to take advantage of thawing diplomatic relations between the United States and the communist-ruled island country. Netflix Inc launched its movie and TV streaming service in Cuba last week.
MasterCard Inc has said it will allow its cards issued in the United States to be used in Cuba, effective March 1. American Express Co has also said it would launch operations in Cuba. The announcement follows revisions to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations announced by the U.S. government earlier this month.