More than a year after the competition was launched in October 2013, Dunedin has taken out the top spot, as the overall winner of Gigatown, to become the most connected town in the Southern Hemisphere!
Congratulations Dunedin, winning Gigatown is a well-deserved and incredible achievement and we look forward to supporting you in the months to come. Along with Dunedin, a huge thank you must go to the four other finalist towns – Gisborne, Nelson, Timaru and Wanaka. You all played just as hard and with just as much heart.
Gigabit services will be made available in Dunedin by the end of February 2015, and with support from Chorus, from there it will be up to the Dunedin community to leverage all of the benefits that gigabit fibre infrastructure has to offer.
When we first established the Gigatown competition our main goal was to educate Kiwis about the benefits of ultra-fast broadband, and help to create lasting and meaningful social and economic opportunities for New Zealand.
All five finalists have really grasped the potential of the gig and ultimately the potential of the UFB network that our country is incredibly lucky to have rolling out beneath our feet. It has been heartening for us to see your conversations change over the past 13 months. In that time, there have been 5,950,000 conversations by 477,880 people about Gigatown and its benefits.
All of this chatter hasn’t just been about how fast your broadband connection is. It’s been about all of the amazing opportunities that UFB and gigabit services can bring to transform your local communities, New Zealand’s economy, education, health services, and yes, how it will improve your entertainment options too!
Before we wrap up, we’d like to give a giga-shout out to the six judges who kindly volunteered their time to judge the Plan for Gig Success category.
We selected the following members of the judging panel for their diverse range of expertise:
- Andy Hamilton, CEO of The Icehouse
- Cecilia Robinson, Group CEO of My Food Bag
- Rod Oram, Business journalist
- Lillian Grace, CEO Wiki New Zealand
- Sam Johnson, Community Board, Christchurch City Council
- Lorraine Mentz, Executive Director, Springboard Trust
Here’s what the judging panel said collectively about their experience mentoring and judging the town Plans for Gig Success:
“In providing mentoring and judging the Plans for Gig Success, what really stood out was the tremendous commitment from all of the finalist towns. The breadth of community engagement, excitement, and wealth of fantastic ideas were evident in all five plans.
“It was great to be able to follow the progress of the plans during the two mentoring phases and noticeable how the plans grew and developed. All towns have talked of the power of their communities and the potential for collaboration with each other to leverage the benefits of UFB and gigabit services for the good of their town and the rest of New Zealand.”
A huge congratulations to Dunedin, and to all of the towns that competed in the finals. We are truly in awe of all that you have achieved. Dunedin will be leading the way, but we are all travelling on this journey towards becoming a gig-nation.
From everyone here at Chorus, #THANK YOU!