Undersea cable ends monopoly

Wednesday June 12, 2019 Written by Published in Technology

Concerns about the cost of internet services and the seafloor environmental impact dogged those preparing to roll out access to the Manatua Cable, at a public meeting in Avarua yesterday.


Ranulf Scarbrough, chief executive of Avaroa Cable Limited, said the new internet cables, connecting Rarotonga and Aitutaki to the world, would not emit any electrical or heat currents. They were environmentally safe.

He was not able to deliver specific pricing promises. But Scarbrough did reassure the public that the government’s new telecommunications policy would deliver competition to the country’s internet.

Bluesky Cook Islands is expected to be just one of the retailers of the internet data streaming through the Manatua Cable – its monopoly will be gone.

Bluesky representatives attended one of two Avaroa Cable consultation meetings on Rarotonga yesterday; more meetings will take place on Aitutaki today and tomorrow.

The Bluesky officials said that through their partnership with government, they remained responsible for providing the best internet services to the whole country.

That is one of the concerns on the outer islands: whether the government’s telecommunications competition policy will provide sufficient protection for the Pa Enua.

“Basically Avaroa Cable will be a wholesale provider of Internet capacity,” said Bluesky country manager Phillip Henderson.  “However the Avaroa Cable will only connect Rarotonga and Aitutaki, therefore satellite connectivity will continue to be used for the Pa Enua and backup for the Avaroa cable connection. At this time Avaroa Cable has not provided pricing for their connectivity.”

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