30 Oct 2017

Cooks Bluesky working to restore network after fire

6:53 am on 30 October 2017

The Cook Islands telecommunications provider Bluesky says it is working hard to get its network up and running again but a devastating fire means cell phone services could be down for at least three weeks.

Fire-damaged Bluesky substation in Aroa on Rarotonga.

Fire-damaged Bluesky substation in Aroa on Rarotonga. Photo: RNZI/Florence Syme-Buchanan

A fire destroyed the main hub at Aroa on Saturday.

The Cook Islands Prime Minister's Office says equipment that hadn't been destroyed by the fire had been water damaged and the station was a write off.

Our correspondent in Rarotonga said there was criticism locally the situation could have been avoided if the country had another telecommunications provider.

They said Bluesky should be taken to task for failing to have contingency plans for such an event.

In a statement on its website Bluesky said all mobile services on Rarotonga and Aitutaki were down as a result of the fire.

It said Wi-fi hotspots were still available across those islands.