Dozens of Vodafone Cook Islands customers took to social media this week to complain about uncharacteristically slow internet and intermittent cuts in service.
When contacted by CI News on Thursday, a Vodafone Cook Islands staff member acknowledged poor internet service affecting customers throughout Rarotonga. “At the moment it’s a problem throughout the island,” the staff member said, adding Vodafone’s technicians were looking into the issue and were aiming to have full service restored before the end of the day.
Questions sent earlier in the day to Vodafone Cook Islands chief executive Phillip Henderson regarding the service issues went unacknowledged.
Internet users have been waiting for the commencement of international connectivity through the undersea cable, which would complement existing satellite service while bringing expected improvements in bandwidth.
Earlier this month, Henderson said Manatua connectivity was expected within “days”.
This week, he confirmed technicians were still performing testing on the new system.
Avaroa Cable Ltd – the local entity handling cable operations that sells cable bandwidth to Vodafone – said the cable was fully functional and operable.
“My engineering team produce a report with how the cable is working and everything is working perfectly,” said Avaroa Chief executive Ranulf Scarbrough. “We can sell a service to our customer, it’s up to them as to how they use it.”
The Rarotonga-Aitutaki portion of the Manatua cable is currently in operation, however all international connectivity remains through satellite.