18 Jun 2012

Cook Islands to look at possibilities for improving broadband

7:49 pm on 18 June 2012

The Cook Islands Government says it is contemplating installing an undersea fibre-optic cable to enhance telecommunications.

Finance Minister Mark Brown says the proposed first step is a baseline survey to determine how improved broadband will affect the country's GDP and its productivity.

He says this could mean the Government selling some of its shares in Telecom Cook Islands.

Currently the government owns 40 percent of the company with the balance held by Telecom New Zealand.

TCI chief executive Jules Maher says they have looked at connecting to Tahiti's Honotua cable, which runs under the sea to Hawai'i, but that would cost more than 20 million US dollars.

He says to connect to the Pacific Fibre cable proposed between New Zealand and the US would cost the Cook Islands around the same amount.

Mr Maher says satellite is the best option for the Cook Islands.