Frequently Asked Questions

These FAQs are designed to provide a better understanding of the competition.

I live in Dunedin, but my street isn't getting ultra-fast broadband. Will I still benefit from Dunedin winning Gigatown?

The area covered by the Chorus ultra-fast broadband network won't be altered. Even if gigabit broadband services aren't available at your home address, there are still ways you'll likely benefit from having the services in Dunedin. Schools, businesses, hospitals and medical centres are being given priority in the ultra-fast broadband network build. Chorus has committed to completing the fibre build to these sectors by the end of 2015, and many already have the ability to connect to fibre today.

Am I in a Chorus ultra-fast broadband area?

You can find out if you're in a Chorus ultra-fast broadband area by entering your address here.

What broadband providers will be able to provide services in Gigatown?

Chorus is working closely with its customers who provide ultra-fast broadband services to homes and businesses. We'll be supporting these broadband providers to enable them to operate services in the winning Gigatown, Dunedin. A number of broadband providers have already committed to deliver gigabit services in Dunedin over Chorus’ UFB network.

What download and upload speeds can I expect if I'm in Gigatown?

The services available to homes and businesses will be designed by retail broadband providers and it will be up to them to decide the full details of the services. A number of broadband providers have committed to deliver gigabit services in Dunedin over Chorus’ UFB network.

The Gigatown Wholesale Service will have a headline downstream speed of 1 Gigabit per second (1Gbps) across the Chorus access network. The headline speed is the peak speed attainable in the access network, but is not necessarily representative of the actual speeds that the end user will receive all the time. The maximum upstream or downstream line speed the Gigatown Dunedin Wholesale Service can support on the end user's line may be limited by a number of factors.

When will 1Gbps services become available in Dunedin?

Chorus will be working closely with its customers (retail broadband providers) to launch 1Gbps services in the winning town, Dunedin, by the end of February 2015.

What will it cost to get a 1Gbps broadband service?

Chorus is providing a sponsored Gigatown Wholesale Service with headline download speeds of 1Gbps, however the retail cost of 1Gbps services to homes and businesses will be set by individual broadband providers. In the vast majority of cases there is minimal cost to residential broadband customers to get an ultra-fast broadband connection installed.

How long with the special rates last for in Gigatown Dunedin?

Chorus will provide the sponsored Gigatown Wholesale Service for three years from the service launch date scheduled for the end of February 2015. At the end of the Gigatown promotion period we will work with broadband providers to transition end customers to either the then market price for the 1Gbps service, or appropriate alternative plans.

What if I have a business broadband line?

The services available to businesses will be designed by retail broadband providers and it will be up to them to decide the full details of the services and costs.

If I'm already using ultra-fast broadband services, will I need new equipment installed in my home?

The Chorus equipment installed outside and inside your home will not need to be changed, however the modem or residential gateway provided by your broadband provider may need upgrading. Your broadband provider will be able to tell you more.

What technology will be used to deliver the Gigabit services?

New Zealand's high speed ultra-fast broadband plans are based on Gigabit passive optical network (GPON) technology, which is capable of delivering downlink speeds of up to 1Gpbs. This same GPON technology is used by many other fibre broadband operators around the world.

Are there examples around the world of the difference that this kind of high-speed connectivity can make to a community?

Chattanooga in Tennessee, US. credits gigabit technology with being one of the major contributors to the transformation of its economy.

Previously shamed as one of the most polluted and unlivable cities in US, Chattanooga was one of the first cities in the world to roll out a fibre-to-the-premise network offering gigabit connection speeds to homes and businesses. This has been cred-ited with playing a role in attracting a swell of economic investment into Chattanooga, including the expansion of Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant and the establishment of Amazon.com facilities.

Chattanooga has also become a digital innovation centre that is driving development of next generation fibre applications.

Chattanooga has also become a digital innovation centre that is driving development of next generation fibre applications. Chattanooga's fibre optic network has been emulated by a handful of other cities in the USA and it is studied internationally as a model of how to build the smart cities of the future. To find out more, click here.

Who is Chorus?

Chorus is New Zealand's largest telecommunications infrastructure company. We work with many dierent phone and internet providers to give access to our network and develop innovative new products and services.

Right now, we're laying thousands of kilometres of fibre optic cable to make broadband available to rural communities and ultra-fast broadband available to more than 830,000 homes and businesses across New Zealand. Our aim is to be world class at what we do, keeping New Zealanders connected to each other and the world.

What is the full prize on offer?

As New Zealand’s first Gigatown, Dunedin will receive:

  • Gigabit connectivity - Chorus will make a special 1Gbps ultra-fast broadband service available in Dunedin at entry level broadband prices.
  • The Gig-Start Fund - a $200,000 fund provided by Chorus and Alcatel Lucent's ng Connect will support entrepreneurs and innovators taking new services to market over the gigabit fibre connection in Gigatown Dunedin.
  • A Gigatown community fund - this is a $500,000 fund to be provided by Chorus that organisations in Dunedin can apply to kick start community related developments that showcase how gigabit infrastructure and UFB can be activated for social good.
  • The Gigatown prize also includes a CO STARTERS programme series run by Co Lab, an incubator for creative business ideas in Chattanooga, Tennessee, US. Designed to turn business ideas into action, Co Lab will be working with Chorus in 2015 to help people in Dunedin follow their passions, do business, and create jobs, all with the help of ultra-fast broadband and gigabit services.

Gigabit connectivity:

Chorus provides wholesale telecommunications services which broadband providers use as the foundation for developing their retail phone and broadband services for New Zealand homes and Chorus is making a special 1Gbps wholesale service, at a special price, available in Gigatown Dunedin. This special ultra-fast broadband wholesale service (let's call it the Gigatown Wholesale Service) will be available to broadband providers. Broadband providers can then design their actual retail services and sell these to home and business customers in the winning Gigatown. The service will be available for three years from the date it launches.

A few things to note:

  • The Gigatown Wholesale Service is designed for mass-market services.
  • The Gigatown Wholesale Service will only be available within the winning town where ultra-fast broadband services are available.
  • Chorus isn't responsible for any end services offered to customers, or whether any end service is offered by a particular broadband provider.
  • The Gigatown Wholesale Service will be a best-effort service with downstream headline speeds of 1 Gigabit per second (1Gbps). The headline speeds are the peak speeds attainable in the access network. They aren't necessarily representative of the actual speeds that the end user will receive all the time, and there are a number of factors that may limit the maximum upstream or downstream line speed on an end user's line, including:
    • the service and plan offered by the broadband provider;
    • wiring in the home or office (in particular, Wi-Fi within the premises will limit speeds available);
    • equipment and devices (including the age of the computer, operating system and modem);
    • the applications being used;
    • the internet beyond the access network (including how the broadband provider has configured its backhaul network); and
    • content sources (for example the performance of equipment such as servers at the remote destination).
  • Information about how to connect to an ultra-fast broadband service is available here Standard rules will apply for connection and installation charges and end users will need to talk to their broadband provider at the time of connection to find out what, if any, connection and installation charges will apply. Sometimes it's necessary to get consent to the installation of Chorus' network from third parties (e.g. in rights of way or multi-storey buildings); if Chorus cannot get this consent, it will not be possible for end users to connect to broadband services based on the Gigatown Wholesale Service.
  • At the end of the Gigatown promotion period the 1Gbps wholesale service price will change to the then market price. We will work with broadband providers to ensure end customers are transferred to appropriate alternative plans if they do not want to pay for a 1Gbps service at the market price.

The Gig-Start Fund:

To enable Dunedin to fully utilise the opportunity that Gigabit broadband service brings, Chorus has teamed up with Alcatel Lucent's ng Connect programme to make available a development fund of $200,000. This fund will support entrepreneurs and innovators from across the country to devel-op services in Dunedin that utilise gigabit broadband from a successful trial or prototype stage through to commercial launch. More details on the Gig-Start Fund can be found on the Chorus website here.

The Gigatown community fund:

This is a $500,000 fund to be provided by Chorus that organisations in Dunedin can apply to kick start community related developments that showcase how gigabit infrastructure and UFB can be activated for social good. We anticipate that applications for the Gigatown community fund will relate broadly to educational, cultural, civic, health and wellbeing community related projects. We will work with Dunedin on how best to implement this fund and will provide more detail in 2015.