and going online in
the Cook Islands
is only one phrase that sums
up getting online in the Cook Islands and that is rip-off.
is outrageously expensive and this is due to several major factors.
there is no submarine cable to the islands, which includes the
main one of Rarotonga, so the Net appears via satellite.
the cost is higher and, in bad weather, the connection can be
weak or non-existent.
there is only one provider of bandwidth and digital coverage
and that is a firm called Bluesky. In my view Bluesky absolutely
pillages the people and visitors of Rarotonga with not only
very expensive data packages, but also ridiculously short use-by
they have a very complicated series of packages that make it
almost impossible to work out which deal is going to best suit
your needs and offer you the best value for money.
studied it for six months I am still bamboozled by it and have
decided not to bother straining the grey cells and just fork
out $25 for 1.5GB of data over two weeks.
Bluesky offers special deals that double that data to 3GB and
you can buy it for $20. That is when you buy a few of them as
they do not begin the use-by countdown until you activate it.
there is another point to moan about.
prints out little dockets with a username and password so that
you can join the cyber world.
they do so on thermal paper, which doesn't seem to last very
long as a legible document in the tropical heat. Also the font
they use can make it difficult to work out 1s from ls and os
from 0s. The size of the type does nothing to make the job easier
for 50+ eyes either.
we took to writing down the codes immediately upon getting home.
This seems to be the locally accepted way of dealing with the
phone users also have a myriad of packages to chose from and
they all seem weighted to making the most money for Bluesky
while offering customers not that much.
can top up your phone at Bluesky stores, or at the Punanga Nui
Market on Saturdays in Avarua or buy top ups from authorised
shops. You give them your number and say how much you want to
put on your account and then a text arrives as confirmation.
money is on your phone you get to chose what bundle you want.
To do that you dial *888# and then chose from a menu. The bundles
are $3 for 24 hours, $5 for three days, $10 for a week, $30
for 10 days and $50 for 14 days.
that amount you can then buy data packages to surf the web.
you cannot activate a data package until your old one ends -
which mine tend to do at very inconvenient moments and lead
to eating up the account dollars with higher charges.
trumpets its great bonus deals with ungodly-hours text blasts
but you need to be wary of these as there are so many catches
I don't bother with them much any more. Like, for instance,
you can't call overseas with the bonus, you can only call and
text locally. Once you have run out of credit in your normal
balance, however, Bluesky will deign to use up your bonus amount
- at a higher rate, of course.
while I bitch and moan about Bluesky their highway robbery charges
are less than those often produced for you by hotels, motels
my view if you come to Rarotonga on holiday - ditch the phone
and the internet and enjoy yourselves in real life, not lose
yourself in cyberspace.