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RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (The Cook Islands Herald, Sept. 11) – Telecom Cook Islands has completed the installation of an earth station on the island of Nassau in the northern Cook Islands group that will allow residents there to communicate with the rest of the world.

The service has been operational since last Thursday evening but won’t be available to Cook islanders until final testing and verification of the system is completed.

According to CEO Stuart Davies, the final testing and verification has to be done by Intelsat, the satellite service provider, before TCI can make an official announcement and open it up to the public.

This is a milestone in Cook Islands history as it means that every populated island now has a telecommunications service. The Cook Islands is the only country in the Pacific with multiple islands that provides communications to every populated island.

The Cook Islands also has one of the highest telephone densities in the world, with 47 telephones per 100 people.

Fiji, by comparison, only has 11.9 telephones per 100 people.

Three TCI engineers have been working on the project for the last few weeks. They have installed a 3.7-meter dish among other equipment providing Nassau islanders with two communication channels. These are being proposed for international direct dial (IDD) telephone and email services.

Nassau, among the 15 islands that make up the Cooks, has a population of 99 according to the last census.

The last earth station TCI completed was in Palmerston last year. The Nassau set up will be similar to that of Palmerston Island.

September 17, 2004

The Cook Islands Herald:


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