WASHINGTON—The FCC International Bureau has opened the doors for U.S. telecom carriers to expand their services to Cuba with the announcement that the country has been removed from the Commission’s Exclusion List for International Section 214 Authorizations, also known as the Exclusion List. The Exclusion List identifies countries and facilities that are not covered by grant of a global facilities-based Section 214 application, requiring instead a separate international Section 214. Cuba was the last remaining country on the Exclusion List.
Telecom carriers are now free to provide facilities-based telephone and Internet service to Cuba without separate approval from the Commission. Carriers that were seeking new international Section214 authority for services to Cuba will now receive it sooner, while carriers with existing global Section 214 authority and permitted to provide services between the U.S. and Cuba without further authority.
The removal of Cuba from the Exclusion List is effective immediately.
The State Department recommended that Cuba be removed from the Exclusion List back in Oct. 2015. This follows President Obama’s decision to reopen diplomatic relations with the country in 2014.