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Spark joins Dunedin's Gigatown party

Posted on 16-Dec-2014 09:35 | Filed under: News

Spark today announced it will offer Unlimited gigabit-broadband plans from $99 a month to customers in #gigatowndun (also known as Dunedin) next year. As an extra bonus for winning the Gigatown competition, the technology company will also be installing GigaWiFi on ten of the busiest Spark WiFi hotspots around the city.

Spark Home, Mobile and Business Chief Executive Chris Quin said gigabit speeds over the fibre network would deliver enormous benefits to Dunedin – enhancing educational and business opportunities, as well as allowing people to do more online in their day-to-day lives.

“Our customers love the ultra-fast speeds they’re already getting on our fibre plans, and now with our Gigatown plans we’ll be able to bring locals in Dunedin speeds around ten times faster than those available to most parts of New Zealand.

“Fast fibre connections make a huge difference to our home broadband customers, allowing people to seamlessly watch online-TV services like Lightbox and use data-heavy apps like video-calling and video streaming.

“When it comes to education and agriculture, two very important industries for the Otago region, a fast internet connection is even more important – and in fact can be transformative.”

Early on in the Gigatown campaign Spark committed to installing GigaWiFi on some of the WiFi hotspots the company already has in the winning centre. Around New Zealand, Spark has retrofitted its phoneboxes to be WiFi zones – allowing people to connect to the net without chewing through their mobile data allowances.

GigaWiFi involves Spark installing next-generation super high speed (up to 1 gigabit per second speeds) WiFi hotspots on ten selected phone boxes around Dunedin.

Chris Quin said: “From next year, Dunedin will have some of the fastest commercially available public WiFi in the Southern Hemisphere – and most Spark customers will be able to access 1GB of WiFi data a day for free. Dunedin is a deserved winner of the Gigatown competition and we hope GigaWiFi will be the icing on the cake.”

Mr Quin said Spark is working with the Dunedin City Council to identify which WiFi hotspots would be “gigafied” during the coming months.

Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull said: "Spark is giving Dunedin a fantastic chance to explore the potential of synergies between Gigabit broadband and Gigawifi. It is great to see the extra opportunities that Gigabit UFB is opening up for the city.”

Chris Quin said: “This is an obvious complement because WiFi expands the reach and connectivity of the fibre network. The benefits work both ways, not only does WiFi expand the reach of fibre, but having good fibre connectivity is essential to realising the full potential of WiFi.”

Spark Digital will also be offering medium-to-large business and government clients in Dunedin access to Gigatown Broadband plans, and will be contacting customers directly with information on pricing and other details.

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