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11 November 2022

Starlink to benefit outer islands

Friday 3 March 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in


Starlink to benefit outer islands

Dear Editor, This is great news (Starlink set to be launched by June, March 2, 2023). I’ve had Starlink since it was launched in Australia a few years back. It’s a game changer when it comes to a fast, reliable internet connection. I’m not sure if Rarotonga or the outer islands are connected via fibre optics (which provides faster up/download speed than Starlink). But if you are currently connected via a satellite provider, seriously consider switching to Starlink when it is made available.

At $139 a month, it’s not the cheapest option out there, but if you weigh up, reliability, speeds, and currently unlimited data, Starlink is miles ahead from their nearest competitor. Currently there is over 3,500+ Starlink (and counting), satellites from SpaceX, circulating lower obit in space. Billions of dollars have been invested by Elon (Musk) and SpaceX. It’s only a matter of time when Starlink will have monopoly over this sector.

The Starlink network will be a benefit more so to the outer islands. When it was launched here in Australia, in late 2021, it was marketed towards rural areas that had poor internet connection/reception. And I guess it would be the same for the Cook Islands.

For a few years now Elon Musk has talked about a Tesla mobile phone, which will by default connect to the Starlink network. Once that is made available, it will be a very competitive space as far as providers are concern. Always good to have more options available to offer the consumer. Exciting times Cook Islands.

Auora Yauola


Sharing information 

Great initiative shown by Emergency Management Cook Islands (CITV news 28th February, 2023), to look at setting up some sort of Google connection/ID for every household on Rarotonga. This would allow direct and immediate access to all homes in case of emergency, and shared by Police, Ambulance, Fire, etc. 

My only question is, why are you not accessing the already long-established site that TAU (Te Aponga Uira) has had in place for a number of years, based on home power connection number. Surely it is just a matter of inter-departmental sharing, and therefore also cutting out a lot of unnecessary work and research (and cost), for a system that is already in place. 

Andy Olah

Unlicensed activity 

constitutes an offense

In context, ‘compliant’ refers only to a narrow band of environmental monitoring activity (Report finds operation of sludge system ‘compliant’, February 28, 2023).

The ‘report’ is a briefing document prepared for the REA (Rarotonga Environmental Authority). It is not an environment impact assessment.

The offshore consult who complied the document did not visit the island of Rarotonga to inspect any of the water treatment facilities.

Comments are rather based on virtual conversation with TTV (To Tatou Vai) and NES (National Environment Service) staff. Reference has also been made to presentation slides which document the condition of two of the 10 water treatment facilities: Turangi and Avana.

The consultant affirms that operation by TTV includes activities that are not permitted/licensed by the REA.

Referring to the relevant legislation, unlicensed activity constitutes an offense against the Environment Act.

See below (the link) for the presentation made by TVOM (Te Vai Ora Maori) to NES in Nov 2022.

Andy Kirkwood