Cook Islands WIFI / Internet Access

 

The subject matter that follows may very well only be relevant for the next 6 months as we are all so aware of how fast technology changes, even in the Cook Islands.

 

For now, there are really two major internet Wifi Suppliers in the Cook Islands.

  1. Zenbu
  2. Telecom

Zenbu is usually found within the resorts. You can purchase MBs from the front reception area which gives you accessibility in your rooms. From what I can tell by looking at the Zenbu rates in various parts of the island, the rates are the same. However, if you purchase at one resort, you can only be in that resort to access your account. This is usually fine for most people; however, if you are doing business on the island that requires you to be out and about all day, this is not the best service to have.

Telecom is accessible only at Telecom Hotspots located at various locations around Rarotonga. These are usually only public areas such as restaurants & cafés or stores. There are very few hotels that offer Telecom service. It is likely that you will find a Telecom Hotspot within a 15 minute walk of most resorts.

Here is the kicker; Telecom is way cheaper than Zenbu. For example, as of today’s rates, Zenbu is NZD25.00 for 80mb and Telecom charge NZD25.00 for 500mb. Massive difference in internet value, however, Zenbu is much more convenient. With Zenbu, you can relax on your pool bed enjoying a cocktail with your family & friends while catching up on all your correspondence. With Telecom, you will need to gather your devices, hike up the road for 10 – 15 minutes, find a curb or window sill to perch yourself on for a while and then head back to the pool.

 

I need to be in touch with the office every day while away, so during my three weeks in Rarotonga this year, I purchased both Telecom and Zenbu. I would log onto the Zenbu at the resort here and there, but when I had more work to do that required more internet time, I would trot up the road to the Telecom Hot Spot (after my kids were in bed or early in the morning before they woke up).

 

The internet is not quite high speed, but it is not terrible (for both service providers).  Perfectly fine for emails and face booking, however, doing anything more involved such as downloading files or uploading images, it is not going to be too much fun, no matter which system you decide to use.

 

We have been told that by the end of the first quarter or 2014, there will be a new high speed, low cost solution on Rarotonga, which may even see the resorts offering Free Wifi to be competitive. Let’s see what happens.

Cook Islands Dec 2013