Technology on Bonaire
While Bonaire is a small island, we have a large number of modern day amenities, including a modern telephone system, several Internet service providers, cable TV, terrestrial digital TV, and a number of radio stations.
Bonaire, Curacao, and Jamaica have two things in common. The first is that they are all located in the Caribbean. The second is that they share the same electrical current with the same power characteristics. The default power from an electrical outlet here on Bonaire is 127 Volts AC at 50 Cycles (or Hertz or Hz). This doesn’t really match either the power requirements of most European appliances (220V, 50Hz) or American appliances (110V, 60Hz), and while both European standard and U.S. standard outlet connections are visible in just about all Bonairean structures, it’s not always clear what voltage the outlet is running at, so it’s important to check this with whomever operates the house, hotel, apartment, etc. that you’ll be staying in.
Assuming you have a 127V power outlet (which looks like a U.S. standard outlet typically), most resorts have transformers available for rent for your more sensitive plug-in appliances, such as battery chargers. Such transformers can also be bought in local stores such as Kooymans, Inpo, and Playa Trading for between $50 and $100.
Some things may be plugged into a 127V socket directly without a transformer, as long as you understand that some U.S. voltage specific devices may run warm, and may burn out if left plugged in for a long time. Note that many notebook computers already have universal power supplies and should work fine plugged into any outlet (check with your manufacturer or your notebook power supply for details).
However, it is also said that Bonaire is occasionally “generous” with its power, and surges and brownouts are not uncommon. If you plug anything electronically delicate into a wall outlet, it might not be a bad idea to have a small surge protector in between. These are available at most consumer electronics stores.
The Internet first made it via dial-up to Bonaire in 1997, and in the last couple of years has blossomed into ADSL, Cable, and HDSL wireless services. Speeds are not nearly as high as in the U.S. or Europe, but still workable.
ADSL is available through Telbo, the island’s telephone company, and you can contact Flamingo TV for “Broadband” Cable Internet. Other connections are also available locally. In some cases, you can be set up for short term usage, or monthly and yearly plans.
Additionally, many resorts and restaurants offer free Wi-Fi while you are a customer. Check with your hotel or resort to see what they offer.
Finally, the island sponsors a free WiFi hot-spot for its visitors in Wilhelmina Park in downtown Kralendijk. To access the hot-spot, you will need a Facebook login to verify your identity. To find the connection on your wireless device, simply search for the signal “Welcome to Bonaire” and follow the login instructions. You will receive 30 minutes of WiFi free, and, should additional time be needed, you will be prompted to purchase more minutes to continue on the high-speed Internet.
|Internet Service Providers (ISPs)|
|Digicel (cellular technology)|
|Flamingo TV (Cable)|
For information on dialing a Bonaire phone number from off-island, see the Telephone page.