Dunedin has jumped up the leaderboard in the Gigatown
Dunedin moved from 11th to second place, behind Wanaka, on
Thursday following a video competition on Instagram which was
not subject to the competition's usual population-adjusted
More than 950 5- to 15-second Dunedin videos were posted
online in the competition, more than half of them by two
people involved in running the Gigatown Dunedin campaign,
campaign organiser Josh Jenkins, of the Dunedin Digital
Wanaka, Dunedin and Queenstown now lead the race to become
the first southern hemisphere town with full access to one
gigabit per second (1Gbs) internet connection speeds. Oamaru
is placed seventh.
Proponents have said a 1Gbs network, allowing data to be
moved more efficiently all over the world, would make Dunedin
an attractive proposition for investors interested in health
technologies, education and learning, niche manufacturing and
It would give start-ups, software companies and developers a
reason to choose Dunedin.
Mr Jenkins said people in Dunedin could already connect into
the 1Gbs infrastructure, but winning would make it cheaper
for that town, putting it about three years ahead of others
in the southern hemisphere in terms of available internet
Connecting to a 1Gbs internet service presently cost about
$2000 in Dunedin, but Chorus had him it expected people in
the winning town would connect to the 1Gbs network via the
yet-to-be-chosen internet service provider for between $70
and $100 per month, Mr Jenkins said.
The winning town would also get a $200,000 development fund
to support entrepreneurs and innovators taking new services
over Gigabit fibre to market.
Mr Jenkins said towns received points for showing their
support for Gigatown online through social media, although
the point system had been frustrating.
Dunedin needed more people to comment about Gigatown than
smaller towns did to get the same points, so had to work a
lot harder at reaching people.
''Getting over the apathy of Dunedin has also been a bit of a
Ratepayers are contributing $61,500 towards Mr Jenkins'
salary to run Dunedin's Gigatown campaign.
City councillors recently questioned the contribution, asking
whether it might have been better spent on other things, such
as helping connect some businesses to the 1Gbs network
Digital Office general manager Stuart Dillon-Roberts said it
was believed the benefit of having 1Gbs to everyone was
greater. The office was also using the campaign as a way of
educating people about broadband.
''If we get businesses thinking about getting more connected
then it's every penny well spent.''
Deputy mayor Chris Staynes said the $61,500 commitment was a
decision of previous council chief executive Paul Orders ''in
his belief [1Gbs] would be a game-changer for Dunedin''.
The funding was allocated from the Dunedin Economic
Development Strategy projects budget.
The competition runs until September, after which the top
five towns will battle it out.
• Competition details, including voting
instructions,can be viewed here