The Cuban government will expand the number of public Internet connection points with new Web-surfing rooms as part of its policy of facilitating "social" online access, but Internet use in private homes will continue to be restricted.

The Communications Ministry decided to establish, starting June 4, 118 new connection spots nationwide with facilities to surf the Internet and the national network and to use e-mail via a portal called Nauta, official daily Juventud Rebelde said Tuesday.

The new Internet locations will be managed by the state telecommunications monopoly, Etecsa, and will be added to those already in existence in hotels and post offices, which currently offer e-mail services that are forecast to be "gradually" expanded.

The service offering includes different packages and connection fees, with per-hour charges of between 60 cents and $4.50.

The "new facilities" to access the Internet have been made possible by the submarine fiber optic cable linking the island with Venezuela and Jamaica that came into operation in 2011.

"The fiber optic cable, although it improves international communications - up to now made mainly via satellite - is not a free service, thus resulting in the cost of the Internet service expansion at first," the daily said. EFE