Telecom Cook Islands (TCI) has announced the expansion of its Oyster broadband internet service to a fourth outer island, Mangaia. The islands of Aitutaki, Atiu and Manihiki already had high speed access in addition to the main island Rarotonga. 30 Mangaian customers were reported to be using the service immediately at launch. TCI CEO Stuart Davies said, ‘It is our aim that all outer islands have access to broadband in the near future.’ According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, ADSL broadband services were launched by TCI in late 2005 on Rarotonga, available to corporate users at speeds of up to 256kbps, and the service was extended to the island’s residential customers the following April, before being extended to Aitutaki, Atiu and Manihiki by May 2008. By that date the telco claimed to have 980 DSL users, around double its total a year earlier.
TCI has also announced that it has upgraded its premium broadband business plans from 1 October, including a reduction in price, an increase in access speed and a new mid-range tariff. Customers on the Broadband Ultra Plus plan will enjoy a 32% reduction in price to NZD950 (USD629) per month. Broadband Ultra access speeds have doubled to 512kbps for both download and upload. In response to demand, a new mid-range plan called Broadband Super has been introduced, including a monthly volume of 6GB, downloads up to 384kbps and peak uploads of 256kbps, for a monthly rental of NZD499. The changes follow a recent increase in international capacity.
TCI has also added Pacific Teleports’ VSAT solution to its broadband product range, to provide a satellite-based, direct-to-user internet service, which it is also promoting as a Rural Internet Connectivity Solution (RICS). VSAT maximum download speeds are 512kbps, with uploads of 256kbps. The initial set-up fee will be around NZD5,800 and monthly charges will range up to around NZD1,000 per month.