Chorus has today announced gigabit broadband services are officially live in Dunedin, meaning the city can now access the fastest ubiquitous broadband speeds in the southern hemisphere. Chorus today joined Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull for an event in Dunedin to mark the city’s residents and businesses now being able to access one gigabit (1Gbps) broadband speeds over Chorus’ ultra-fast broadband network. Gigabit connectivity is part of the prize package that Dunedin fought hard to win during Chorus’ Gigatown competition last year. Chorus will provide the city with a special 1Gbps broadband service at entry level wholesale broadband prices for three years. Chorus chief commercial officer Tim Harris says Dunedin now has a fantastic opportunity to become a world-class technology and business hub and showcase what is possible with gigabit services. “With the fastest broadband speeds available today, Dunedin has a real opportunity to be recognised locally and internationally as the most connected and innovative city in the southern hemisphere. “We are keen to see how Dunedin embraces this opportunity and look forward to seeing their plans come to life over the next few years,” he says.
“We know there are already entrepreneurs with brilliant ideas living and working in Dunedin and now is the time to harness, share and promote this culture for the benefit of the city’s economy.” Harris says, “We’d like to see the Dunedin community get involved and be among the first to try New Zealand’s best broadband.” Orcon, MyRepublic, Snap, Spark and Vodafone have all signed up to provide gigabit retail plans in Dunedin. Alongside these broadband providers, there are a number of local resellers who will also be offering gigabit services. Gigabit services are being made available to those residents and businesses in reach of the new ultra-fast broadband network that Chorus is rolling out to areas of Dunedin city. Many schools, hospitals and medical centres across Dunedin already have the ability to connect to ultra-fast broadband today. As the winner of Gigatown, Dunedin gets a $500,000 community fund provided by Chorus over a three-year period for organisations to kick-start community-related developments that showcase how gigabit infrastructure and ultra-fast broadband can be activated for social good. Chorus and Alcatel-Lucent’s ng Connect programme are also giving entrepreneurs and innovators across the country the chance to win up to $200,000 to develop and market a new service concept for Dunedin.
“Through the Gig-Start Fund we want to attract the brightest of New Zealand’s talent to establish a presence in Dunedin, helping to boost job opportunities and stimulate social and economic growth in the town,” Harris says. To apply for the Gig-Start Fund, participants need to produce a short video describing their idea and the concept behind it, outline a business model, and technology and funding requirements.
Entries for the Gig-Start Fund initiative are open until 12pm 29 May 2015, with finalists announced in June 2015. Finalists for the Gig-Start Fund will then be invited to attend a ‘Pitch Day’ where they will have the chance to showcase and pitch their ideas to the judging panel and the wider Gigatown community. The winning applications will be announced in July 2015.