Chorus has announced the overall winner of the Gigatown competition, with Dunedin taking out the title ahead of the four other finalists – Gisborne, Nelson, Timaru and Wanaka.
Communications Minister Amy Adams announced Dunedin as the winning town at a special event in Wellington last night, which included representatives from each of the five towns.
Chorus CEO Mark Ratcliffe says the race for Gigatown has been truly outstanding and all the competing towns should be proud of their efforts.
“I want to acknowledge all the towns who have taken part in the Gigatown competition, particularly the five finalists," he says.
“Their efforts have helped engage their respective communities about the potential economic and social benefits of ultra-fast broadband and laid the foundation to ensure their local communities can unlock these benefits.
“Throughout the competition, the towns have truly inspired us by showcasing what a country connected with ultra-fast broadband can achieve.
“Thanks to this competition, Dunedin is now ideally placed to become a leading digital innovation hub for New Zealand."
The competition was launched in October last year, with 50 towns competing to become New Zealand’s first Gigatown. Since September this year, the five finalists have competed fiercely for the Gigatown title.
As the winner of Gigatown, Dunedin will receive access to 1 Gigabit per second internet access at entry level wholesale prices for three years, along with two different funds:
· A $200,000 Gigatown development fund provided by Chorus and Alcatel Lucent's ng Connect to support entrepreneurs and innovators taking new services to market over the gigabit fibre connection in Gigatown
· A $500,000 Gigatown community fund provided by Chorus over a three-year period for organisations to kick-start community-related developments that showcase how gigabit infrastructure and UFB can be activated for social good
Ratcliffe says Chorus plans to work closely with the other four finalists to capitalise on the success and goodwill of the Gigatown competition.
“Any of the finalists would have been worthy winners and that’s why we are now turning our attention to how we build on the engagement to date with all the towns, not just Dunedin," he says.
“We want to help Gisborne, Nelson, Timaru and Wanaka achieve their goals and build on the foundation they now have in place to ensure their local communities can unlock the benefits of ultra-fast broadband.”