A national competition is set to determine which New Zealand town will become the first in the southern hemisphere to receive one-gigabit per second broadband speeds.
‘Welcome to Gigatown’ will be a year-long competition led by ultra-fast broadband (UFB) infrastructure company Chorus. The competition aims to spark innovation and mobilise the potential of UFB to transform local economies and services to drive better outcomes for New Zealand communities.
Chorus Head of Marketing and Sales, Victoria Crone says the one-gigabit fibre broadband will be deployed to the New Zealand town that shows New Zealand it has the most desire to be Gigatown.
“Over the course of a year we’re going to ask New Zealand communities to get creative, get online and tell New Zealand why their town should receive this gigabit connection,” says Crone.
“Over the next couple of months we will work with local communities and councils, as well as the rest of the telecommunications industry, to make sure we deliver a great competition that gives the widest possible range of communities the chance to be New Zealand’s Gigatown.”
All communities covered by Chorus’ Ultra-fast Fibre build plans will be eligible to enter the competition. Welcome to Gigatown is expected to launch on Labour Day 2013, with the winning town announced in early 2015.
Crone says that Welcome to Gigatown aims to encourage New Zealanders to start thinking about UFB as a huge opportunity to transform our country’s economy and also deliver great social outcomes.
Two international UFB experts are in New Zealand to support the announcement of Welcome to Gigatown and provide commentary on the potential of New Zealand’s unique fibre model.
According to Sheldon Grizzle, an innovation lead at CO.LAB in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the power of Gigabit fibre to transform a town’s economy has been clearly demonstrated as Chattanooga transformed from the most polluted city in the USA to one of its most innovative digital economies.
“The Chattanooga story can happen in New Zealand because it is one of the few countries around the world that is on track to provide fibre connectivity to the majority of its country’s homes, schools and businesses,” says Grizzle.
“It is absolutely possible that the Gigatown project will enable one New Zealand town to transform itself into a leading digital innovation hub for New Zealand and beyond,” he says.
Joining Grizzle in New Zealand is Benoit Felten, an international fibre specialist and founder of the French research and consultancy firm, Diffraction Analysis.
Felten has an incredible breadth and depth of expertise on fibre, from the technology through to industry dynamics, propositions, business models and applications.