18 Jan 2005

Cooks phone links gradually restored

4:26 pm on 18 January 2005

Communication to the out-lying islands in the Cook Islands is slowly being restored, with three of nine satellite stations back up and running today.

Communication was cut when the satellite, controlled by the US-based Intelsat company, moved out of position late last week.

The General Manager of Telecom in the Cook Islands, Phil Henderson, says communication is being re-directed from the absent primary satellite, to nine smaller ones.

"Most definitely the primary satellite is out of service totally and services are being migrated to new satellites, and we're beginning to bring them up through re-pointing the earth stations there. We've got three out of nine back up today, with one more tonight, and the balance tomorrow we hope."

Phil Henderson says while voice communication has been regained, the country's entire internet network is still down.

He anticipates greater disruptions for business, particulary in the tourism industry, as the demand for communication increases at the start of the working week.