Cook Islands WIFI / Internet Access

29 December 2013

The subject matter that follows may very well only be relevant for the next six 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 Wi-fi Suppliers in the Cook Islands:

  • Zenbu
  • 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 seem to be standard in every place. However, if you purchase at one resort, you can only be in that resort to access the internet. 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 public locations such as restaurants or cafés around Rarotonga.  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 NZD 25.00 for 80mb and Telecom charge NZD 25.00 for 500mb. Massive differences in internet value, however, with Zenbu, you can relax on your pool bed enjoying a cocktail with your family and friends and 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.

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 hotspot (this was usually after my kids were in bed or early in the morning before they woke up).

The internet is not quite high in speed, but it is not terrible either (for both service providers).  Perfectly fine for emails and accessing you social media accounts, however, doing anything more involved such as downloading files or uploading images, it is not going to be quick or fun no matter what device you’re using.

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 Wi-fi to be competitive. Let’s see what happens.

Written by Jason (Destination Specialist)