Giga News

winner-dunedin high res



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!

Vote Now 4


Woah. As the band Europe once sang, it’s the final countdown. Next Wednesday 26 November we’ll be announcing the winner of Gigatown at an event in Wellington. No matter where you are, if you have access to, you’ll be able to tune in just after 6pm to find out who the winning town is via live stream.

Social media general


Well, we’re almost at the end! There are less than four days to go until Gigatown’s social media, quiz and supporter challenges close for good and we enter the final two weeks of the competition. Phew.



We’re just back from the gig city that is Chattanooga in Tennessee where we spent a fantastic week with the #Gigatown teams from Dunedin, Gisborne, Nelson, Timaru and Wanaka.

Chattanooga is a cool little town doing big things with gigabit fibre. The gig infrastructure is great/amazing/awesome (feel free to add your own adjective) but the power and finesse lies in a combination of vital ingredients.

Dan Buckingham Crossing Street

The Internet, ultra-fast broadband, disability… what’s the connection?

Dan Buckingham, from innovative web platform, AttitudeLive, joins us as a guest blogger for GigaNews this week. Dan spends his workdays producing high quality documentaries and video, blog and media content, connecting people to all things relating to disability and chronic health. Outside of work he represents New Zealand’s wheelchair rugby team, the Wheel Blacks. Dan shares his thoughts on how ultra-fast broadband and gigabit services will help AttitudeLive tell its stories…

Empathear scarf app Cropped

How wearable tech, a smartphone app and the Internet are assisting mental health in New Zealand

At Gigatown this month we’re exploring how the Internet and ultra-fast broadband over fibre can enable the development of services, products and apps that help to improve our health and wellbeing.

This week, we welcome GigaNews guest blogger, Sarah Mokhtar. Sarah, a Master’s degree student in design innovation at Victoria University, has designed a programme called Empathear to assist the families of people with schizophrenia. The Empathear programme works through a downloadable app and a wearable technology scarf which transmits data gained from the device back to a server.


UFB – in sickness and in health

In the past few weeks we’ve been exploring how ultra fast broadband over fibre will help to further New Zealanders’ education, grow our economy, and keep us entertained. This month we’re taking a look at how Chorus’ UFB network is playing a role in improving Kiwis’ health and wellbeing through technologies like telehealth, ehealth and mhealth.



Over the past few weeks, the team at Gigatown, and our awesome competition judges, Patrick Snedden, Johnson Witehira and Massad have watched all of the Gigaschool video entries and been impressed with students’ demonstrations of what a day in the life of a gigabit connected school will be like.

Schools around New Zealand have showed us how they believe their learning could be enhanced by video conferencing with schools and teachers in other parts of the world, by holograms, 3D printers, scanners that take the student roll, and wow, even robots!

Ultimately, the Gigaschool judges felt the two schools that took out the top prize in the junior and senior categories, Whakatane Intermediate (junior) and John McGlashan College (senior), stood out because they clearly demonstrated creatively how UFB will drive educational development and learning in schools, over and above simply connecting to faster broadband.


Here are the winning schools:

In the junior school category –

1st place: Whakatane Intermediate School #GigatownWHK (300,000 Gigapoints)

2nd place: Corinna School #GigatownPOR (200,000 Gigapoints)

3rd place: Bluestone School #GigatownTIM (100,000 Gigapoints)

4th place: Adventure School #GigatownPOR (50,000 Gigapoints)

5th place: Nelson Central School #GigatownNSN (25,000 Gigapoints)


In the senior school category –

1st place: John McGlashan College #GigatownDUN (300,000 Gigapoints)

2nd place: Wakatipu High School #GigatownQTN (200,000 Gigapoints)

3rd place: Bishop Viard College #GigatownPOR (100,000 Gigapoints)

4th place: Titahi Bay Intermediate School #GigatownPOR (50,000 Gigapoints)

5th place tie: Southland Girls High School #GigatownIVC and Mt Aspiring College #GigatownWKA (25,000 Gigapoints each)


As part of the competition, there were also 10,000 bonus Gigapoints available for eligible video entries that chose to support a town outside of the town where the school was located.

Dunedin had 11 schools supporting them from outside Dunedin to receive 110,000 bonus Gigapoints. Three other schools in the South Island chose to support Timaru giving the town 30,000 bonus Gigapoints, while Porirua had one school from another town supporting to receive 10,000 bonus Gigapoints.

Well done to all of the winning schools and a huge thank you to all who participated! We’re excited to see how schools will best make use of the gigabit broadband service in the winning Gigatown.

Giga-comp history

When we launched Gigatown on Labour Day October 28, last year we knew we were in for a unique and exciting campaign – and #OMG, #wereweright, #orwhat! It’s shaping up to be one of the biggest online comps in New Zealand’s history.

Computer Gaming

Sweden – 1. The rest of the world – 0

Ever wondered why Swedish gamers are both feared and revered in the world of gaming? Sweden is ranked as one of the world’s top computer game exporters, with growth in the Swedish gaming industry reaching 215 per cent between 2010 and 2012.*

So what’s behind Sweden’s gaming success? Quite simply, innovation combined with great technology.