Mayor Annette Main and the Whanganui Digital Leaders Forum have congratulated Dunedin on its major Chorus win last week, despite claiming the North Island city is already a Gigatown winner.
Mayor Main says that while Whanganui was not eligible to enter the Gigatown competition because its ultrafast broadband network is being built by Ultrafast Fibre, not by Chorus, the city already has the capacity to offer 1 gigabit speeds to retail service providers.
The competition, run by telecommunications company Chorus, encouraged New Zealand towns to boost their community’s understanding of how ultrafast broadband works, through a series of challenges involving social media and quizzes.
Chorus will give Dunedin residents the chance to access 1 gigabit (a billion bits per second) of ultrafast broadband speed for the price of entry level broadband, as well as $700,000 worth of ultrafast broadband initiatives.
“I congratulate Dunedin on their achievement and I know the city will benefit from the publicity as well as the prizes from Chorus," Mayor Main adds.
"I am sure that if we had been able to participate, we would have done very well in the competition.
"We have been steadily working toward 100% connectivity for all our community and 94 per cent of our network has already been built with the remainder to be completed early next year."
Major Main believes the availability of the 1 gigabit "is the future", documenting her excitement at the range of services and projects that can be developed with this kind of speed.
“It is fantastic that Whanganui and now Dunedin are at the forefront when it comes to having the infrastructure for 1 gigabit," Major Main adds, "but as a nation that wants to improve our position in the OECD we also need to address our international connectivity."
According to Major Main, a high capacity, open access international cable would make this country an "even more desirable place to invest and do business."
“Because our district is New Zealand's only finalist in the Intelligent Community Forum’s Smart21 awards, we know the benefits that the digital revolution brings for the whole country and we are regularly assisting other communities around New Zealand who are also looking to develop strong digital strategies," she adds.