Internet outage three days and counting

04/01/2014

We got home after a few days in Wanaka late this afternoon to find we had no internet.

I turned everything off, waited a few minutes and turned it all on again but we still had no connection.

That being the limit of my self-help repertoire, I phoned the Telecom help desk.

The call was answered by a real person in a very few seconds.

I explained the problem, she ascertained that there was no connection, looked further then said there was an outage in our area.

It had happened on the second, three days ago, and they’d received about 20 calls like mine. Chorus would be fixing it but they had no updates on progress and no knowledge of when service would be restored.

I’m using a T-stick with a laptop which is adequate for my needs, albeit slower than the broadband connection which isn’t working.

But our office staff will be back at work tomorrow and it’s very difficult to run the business on a single T-stick.

It would be good to have the problem fixed and until it is, communication on when it will be, would be appreciated.

The internet is a vital tool for business in the 21st century.

An outage lasting three days – and counting  – with no updates is unacceptable.


#gigatownoamaru needs your help

07/12/2013

A recalculation of Wanaka’s population resulted in it soaring to the top of Chorus’s gigatown competition.

Oamaru is still in a very creditable second place – and with your help we could get back to first.

If you’re not supporting another town, please sign up today to help Oamaru earn extra points and encourage friends and relations all aroudn the world to do the same:

Supporters World Promotion Rules

Become a Gigatown supporter and open up a whole new world.

Find supporters from all over your town and beyond to join your Gigatown’s cause and win.

Here’s how you can help your town win 25,000 Gigapoints and experience the amazing Leon Keer’s 3D art:

1. If you haven’t already joined your town’s supporters’ network click on the JOIN UP button now.

2. Invite your mates! Remember, you don’t have to live in a town to support it, so friends and family from further afield can support your cause, too.

Entries are open from 10am Thursday 5th December and close at midnight Saturday night, 7th December, 2013.

The town that adds the most supporters to their supporters’ network over the course of the promotion will win.

1st place – Leon Keer’s drawing in your town and 25,000 Gigapoints

2nd place – 15,000 Gigapoints

3rd place – 10,000 Gigapoints

In addition, any town that doubles its supporters over the weekend will receive a bonus of 10,000 Gigapoints.

Winners will be announced on this website. The first three placings will be announced on Sunday 8th December. Bonus winners will be announced and all points adjustments made on Wednesday 11th.

Click here to add your support for #gigatownoamaru.

It’s a year-long competition with the opportunity to be the southern hemisphere’s first gigatown at stake.


Giga gaming?

16/11/2013

Anyone who’s been checking the gigatown website over the last day or so has been finding something’s up with the scoring.

Instead of going up, as they have been, the tallies for several towns has been going down.

What’s going on?

Chris Keall writes:

Chorus’ Gigatown competition began with a noble aim: to showcase the benefits of Ultrafast Broadband fibre. . .

But now the Gigatown competition has opened it’s home page is … a riot. At first glance, it’s hard to work out what the hell’s going on. . .

A communications professional involved in one town’s bid tells NBR ONLINE, “I know there has been cheating. $200,000 is  at stake and councils are paying people to coordinate the campaigns. Someone in both Oamuru and Porirua set up bots to rack up tweets.”

Chorus did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but it seems from social media chatter that both Oamuru and Porirua have had had their totals trimmed. . . .
Oamaru has led from the start and these accusations of giga gaming are refuted on the #gigatownoamaru Facebook page:
. . . Absolutely disgusted with the comment that Oamaru set up bots to automate tweets. I started the competition here in Oamaru as the previous council declined to partake in a meeting with Chorus. The new Council and Mayor, Gary Kircher, are 100% behind their town in this competition.
From the start we have worked with Chorus to define the rules of the competition along with the other competing towns….
At my request, Chorus set up a facebook closed group for the managers to discuss the rules and events. I could see early on the potential for abuse and the social media frenzy that would be created that would become extremely hard for Chorus to manage.
There has been a change in the rules, and Chorus is working at removing points that do not fit within these parameters across the board. Their facebook page clearly states the definition of “spam” which is definitely not what one would expect from a flippant use of the word.
Your comments show little insight into the vigor that the residents of the participating towns are displaying and their enthusiasm at promoting their communities. Yes, a monster is in the process of being created, yet the outcome, whether a town wins or not, will be increased social networking between education, business, local government and the greater community.
The Gigatown Oamaru team has stated from the start that we will play fair, and win a clean fight.
I am incredibly proud of Oamaru, given that little effort with no funding that has taken us to the top of the leaderboard from day 1. This shows a town with huge potential.

The competition has gripped the town and wider district. It’s the number one talking point. Even people who know and care little for social media have got involved  to support their community because they can see the benefits to be gained from becoming the southern hemisphere’s first gigatown.

So… what does Spam looks like?

To help keep #Gigatown fair, fun and relevant we are regularly sweeping for spam.

No-one likes spam, and the social media platforms we’re using have spam rules of their own that we all need to follow.

So, just to be clear, here is a list of spam-like activity that won’t be counted. . . .

Chorus has a tiger by the tail. It’s important for the company and the integrity of the competition that rules are clear and abided by.

They must be trying to sort it out now because the scoreboard reads:

Time for a regular check under the hood.

We will be back online soon.
But don’t worry your points are still being scored.

 

 


#gigatownoamaru growing, growing

12/11/2013

Oamaru, New Zealand’s sharpest town,  has led Chorus’s gigagtown points table from the start.

‘Gigatown’ will be the first town in the Southern hemisphere to access a one gigabit per second (1Gbps) internet connection.

How do we decide who gets to be Gigatown? Actually, we don’t decide – you do.

We’re looking for the town that wants it the most. There’s two ways we’ll be measuring that drive, enthusiasm and determination to be Gigatown:

1. by listening out for the town with the loudest voice on social media; and

2. by tallying up the supporters for each town signing up on this website.

Over the course of the competition, we’ll measure social media and online community engagement in support of each eligible ‘town’.

The town with the loudest voice will be New Zealand’s first Gigatown, and will be well positioned to become a leading digital innovation hub for New Zealand, showcasing how ultra-fast broadband can re-define our economy, reshape how our children learn and change how our communities live, work and play.

Points will be counted up for each town and adjusted relative to the town’s size to become ‘Gigapoints’, which are displayed on this website so you can keep track of your town’s progress. The adjustment for town size ensures that each town has the same opportunity to be the Gigatown.

The five eligible towns with the most points at the end of the initial round will go forward to the finals

When I checked a few minutes ago #gigatownoamaru was more than 40,000 ahead of its nearest rival.

How’s it doing it?

Good, old fashioned community spirit combined with new fashioned technology as people in the town and the wider district and their family and friends use social media – Facebook, Twitter, blogs, YouTube, . . .  to gain points.

gig 12.11

 


What’s the #gigatownoamaru secret?

07/11/2013

When Chorus launched it’s competition to find New Zealand’s #gigatown, Oamaru lept to the top of the points table, and it’s stayed there.

How is it doing it?

Oamaru Life has the answer:

The Chorus Gigatown campaign is only 9 days old, and yet Oamaru, a town of just 12,000 people with a reputation among New Zealanders as being where “nana lives” has turned out to be a social media barnstormer, producing over 110,000 votes to date, more than 25% of the total number of votes cast so far.

What can possibly account for this success? Well, Oamaru has proven before that when it comes to matters of civic pride, we are second to none. This was amply demonstrated when it came time to vote for New Zealand’s “sharpest town” a few months ago, which Oamaru won handily, mobilising our townspeople and our friends all over the world to vote for us (and then, too, we had more votes than the other five contenders combined).

Another reason for Oamaru’s success is that we are actually a lot more clued-in to social media and the ways of the modern world than our reputation as New Zealand’s “Victorian Town” would suggest. That’s one reason why the NZ government chose Oamaru as one of the two pilot towns to trial online census forms, rather than the traditional mail-in forms, and we wowed them with higher-than expected submission rates.

The campaign has gripped not just the town but the wider district, ex-Oamaruvians living elsewhere and our friends and relations all over the country, and the world as well.

But the competition is only 10 days old.

There’s 50 and a bit weeks to go yet and we welcome more support:

But we can use all the help from our friends around the world to help make Gigatown a reality for us (if you don’t know what’s at stake, one town in New Zealand will be chosen to be wired to the Southern Hemisphere’s fastest internet connection, turning it overnight into a magnet for high-tech investment and into an instant cutting-edge technology hub for the entire region). If you would like to help, here’s what you can do:

1. Go to the Chorus NZ Gigatown website (www.gigatown.co.nz) and click on “Join Up”, where you can register with either your Facebook or Google+ account. Then it will ask you to select the town you support. Please choose Oamaru, since doing so gives us 10 more points just like that!

2. Go to the Oamaru Gigatown Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Gigatown.Oamaru) and post on there, or comment on other posts, but always adding either #gigatownoam or #gigatownoamaru (but not both!) to your comments. It’s important that there be other meaningful text besides that tag, too, since otherwise it may appear to the Chorus watchdogs as an automated post, which would be disqualified.

3. If you’re on Twitter, then post tweets using the hashtags #gigatownoamaru or #gigatownoam (but again, not both) along with some other text, images, or whatever you like. Each of these will count as a point, as will any retweets of other posts with the same tags.

4. These same hashtags used on other social media platforms count automatically, too, such as Instagram and YouTube. Blogs on WordPress or Tumblr using the hashtags count as well, but only if you have first registered them on the Chorus Gigatown website.

The rules of the competition are subject to change at any time, and there is a lot that is still not 100% clear about the competition, so you might want to sign up for updates on a special site that Oamaru has set up, gigatown.oamaru.org.nz. There you will find all the information you could possibly want about this competition, see all the posts with Oamaru’s hashtags in one place, and generally support us in our bid to be the Southern Hemisphere’s fastest, as well as sharpest, town!

The Oamaru gigatown secret is community spirit and we’re happy for the whole world to be part of that community.


Rural round-up

06/11/2013

Fonterra 2.0 – Willy Leferink:

There has been more than a little soul searching by Fonterra’s Board. For all the bad press it gets slammed with locally, I can say from the World Dairy Summit in Japan that Fonterra is not just respected; it is admired by many and even feared by some across the world.

With its independent report on the non-botulism scare, Fonterra’s Board dropped a very big hint that things are going to be different going forward in deeds more than words. Given former act leader Rodney Hide admitted in print this year that “politicians leak all the time,” it must have come as a shock to the media that such a critical and sensitive report was kept tight right up until 2pm last Wednesday.

I didn’t have an advance copy just a general heads up so I raced to the internet at the same time as everybody else. There was no leak and nor was it timed to clash with some other event; Honesty 1 v. Spin Doctors 0. Even the media conference was webcast live for anyone to watch anywhere on earth. I don’t want to sound like a commercial here, but wait, there’s more. Critical parts of the report were translated into key languages so I guess Fonterra’s Board did not want there to be any ambiguity.

Yet the words of Jack Hodder, who chaired Fonterra’s independent board inquiry, sticks in my mind – the biggest thing that needs to change within Fonterra is cultural. . .

 Farmers urged to vote in historic meat co-op elections:

Given strong moves to restructure New Zealand’s red meat sector, Federated Farmers is describing the director elections for Silver Fern Farms and Alliance Group as historic.

“If you want empowerment in your farming business then as shareholders you need to vote,” says Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre Chairperson, newly returned from a World Farmers’ Organisation event in Zambia.

“Set against a backdrop of what could be up to three million fewer lambs and declining stock numbers, future generations of farmers will ask current shareholders how they voted. . . .

New sentencing options for polluters not needed, says minister:

The Government has rejected a suggestion that more flexible sentencing options for judges are needed to help the fight against agricultural polluters

In a speech to the Environmental Compliance Conference this week, Environment Court judge Craig Thompson says more imaginative sentencing options could lead to better outcomes for both the environment and farmers.

Judge Thompson suggests that judges should have the power to shut down the worst offenders altogether.

He says those farmers or farm companies place a huge burden on the enforcement and prosecution resources of councils that are unfortunate enough to have them as ratepayers. . .

Fonterra and Tatua paths might cross in Australian tangle:

Cross-ownership and joint ventures could see two New Zealand rivals working together depending on the outcome of wrangling for ownership of an Australian dairy company.

Dairy companies throughout the world often own a stake in competitors or operate joint ventures, an Australian analyst Jon Hauser of XCheque says.

“There’s a whole range of commercial joint ventures and ownership structures between private companies and private companies, and private companies and co-operatives,” Hauser said. . .

Fleeced: 160 sheep stolen from field near village of Wool – Adam Withnall:

Dorset police are appealing for witnesses after 160 sheep were stolen from a field near the village of Wool.

The rustlers are thought to have had to use a large lorry to move the animals, which were all marked and electronically tagged.

Police said the incident took place between 8am on Saturday 2 November and 2.30pm on Monday, at the field which lies next to the A352 between Wool and the nearby village of East Stoke. . .

 

Gigatown competiton could benefit a rural town:

Farmers see the benefits for their rural town if it were to win Chorus’s year-long competition to bring the fastest broadband speed to one New Zealand town

FWPlus followers tweeted that it could have both indirect and direct benefits for farmers.

“Fantastic urban internet will help rural communities indirectly by helping their towns thrive,” @AaronJMeikle tweeted

The one-gigabit per second broadband speeds – up to 100 times faster than most cities around the globe – would act as a magnet and attract businesses to relocate to that town, he tweeted.

Another direct benefit, he tweeted, was that it would provide services that fitted farmers’ time constraints.

This is why I’m supporting #gigatownoamaru


#gigatownoamaru first to 100,000

05/11/2013

Oamaru has been leading the points table since Chorus’s competition to be the first town in the Southern Hemisphere to be a #gigatown kicked off last week.

New Zealand’s Sharpest town is still leading and has passed 100,000 points:

giga100000

 

#gigatownoamaru has 10137 points – and climbing.

Leaving a comment with #gigatownoamaru for this, or any other post, will add a point.

 

 


Jobs go jobs come

31/10/2013

Jobs go.

It’s hard for everyone involved but for all sorts of reasons businesses change and the number of people they employ does too,

Sometimes it’s because of the introduction of more automation or the introduction of new technology which improves productivity but reduces the need for so many staff.

Sometimes it’s because a business loses customers or fails completely.

Fortunately while jobs go they also come and there’s good news for the Clutha District with 40 new jobs for Finegand from new casings plant.

A new added value casing facility at Silver Fern Farms’ Finegand plant will see 40 new roles created in the Clutha region.

Silver Fern Farms’ Chief Executive Keith Cooper says the million dollar facility will take previously exported part-processed “green lamb runners” through to a processed sausage casing stage for export markets across the world.

“This development will create 40 new full time roles across our Balclutha – Finegand operations. It will create value from a product that will add to the profitability of our sheep meat business in the short-medium term,” Mr Cooper says.

Clutha District Mayor Bryan Cadogan, who previously worked in a casing plant, says the move is good news for Balclutha’s Ready Steady Work programme.

“We have a Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs initiative for Clutha, which is aiming for zero unemployment for youth in the Clutha District. Silver Fern Farms have been a supporter of this programme from the start. These 40 new roles in our district will be a great help for our ambitions of realising this goal,” Mr Cadogan says.

Green casings will be brought to Finegand from four Silver Fern Farms’ plants across the country, making it one of the larger casing facilities in New Zealand Mr Cooper says.

“The plant will be operational year-round so our customers can have a reliable and high quality source of clean, salted casings.”

Previously the green runners had been exported in part-processed form to China for further processing.

Finegand previously had a casing facility which closed in 2005 due to the then demand for green runners. The new facility has a process which is forecast to use less than half of the water requirements of the previous system.

Forty new jobs is significant for a small town.

It’s good news for the people who will get jobs and the wider district.

This time next year one town or city in New Zealand will get a boost that will lead to more jobs when it becomes Chorus’s #gigatown.

New Zealand’s sharpest town, Oamaru, is doing it’s best to become the Southern Hemisphere’s first #gigatown – #gigatownoamaru.


Rural round-up

30/10/2013

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Puts Case to Washington:

Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) and representatives from other Five Nations Beef Alliance partners have called on Washington’s Capitol Hill to promote a unified view of how trade in agricultural products – and especially beef – should be treated under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.

The TPP, which is currently being negotiated and of which New Zealand is a participant, aims to open up trade in goods and services. Progress towards an outcome was most recently reviewed in Bali, where Prime Minister John Key chaired the meeting of the 12 TPP negotiating countries.

The Five Nations Beef Alliance is made up of the national organisations that represent beef cattle producers in Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and the United States. Collectively, the five countries account for one third of global beef production and approximately half of global beef exports. . .

New Zealand food and beverage producers need to be bulletproof:

New Zealand food and beverage producers need to ensure their operations are “bulletproof” if they want to compete in an increasingly aggressive global marketplace, an industry expert says.

Grant Thornton New Zealand Partner and National Leader, Food and Beverage, Simon Hunter, is describing the firm’s latest International Food and Beverage sector report, ‘Hunger for growth: Food and Beverage looks to the future’, as a wake-up call for the local industry.

The report, based on interviews with 248 senior executives in seven countries (including New Zealand), says 90% expect revenues to increase in the next 12 months but only half expect to employ more people. . .

Gigatown competition will change the future for one town:

Federated Farmers is excited by Chorus’s year-long competition to bring the fastest broadband speed to one New Zealand town.

“This competition is a great opportunity for rural towns,” says Conor English, Federated Farmers Chief Executive.

“If a rural town wins it will become the first town in the southern hemisphere to receive one-gigabit per second broadband speeds – up to 100 times faster than most cities around the globe.

“New Zealand’s farmers are desperate for new ways to get onto the internet and this competition has the potential, for one fortunate town, to spark innovation and mobilise and transform their local economy and society. . . .

(This is why we’re supporting #gigatownoam and the #gigatown campaign).

Fonterra board to set up separate risk committee after food scare review – Paul McBeth:

(BusinessDesk) – The board of Fonterra Cooperative Group will establish a separate committee to oversee risks facing the dairy group in the wake of the false alarm food scare that prompted a precautionary recall in August.

The company’s board will carve out the risk elements from its audit, finance and risk committee into its own separate committee, which chairman John Wilson said will cover “food safety, food quality and other risks Fonterra in today’s environment faces.”

The measure was one of a raft of recommendations from the board-ordered inquiry, led by Jack Hodder QC, after recall of three batches of whey protein concentrate, which were thought to have been contaminated.

Fonterra’s handling of the fall-out was “inadequate” for the kind and size of the crisis and the company’s lack of responsiveness to external stakeholders was seen as a “fortress” mentality, the report said. . . .

Shareholders’ Council welcomes report, inquiry recommendations:

The Fonterra Shareholders’ Council, which safeguards the interests of the dairy Co-operative’s 10,500 Shareholders, said it welcomed the completion of the Fonterra Board commissioned independent report of the WPC80 issue.

Council Chairman, Ian Brown: “The Council has received the report and we commend the Oversight Committee and the Independent Inquiry Team on the comprehensive nature of the report.

“We also commend the Board on their openness and support their decision to make the report public. . .

New health & safety regulations will increase potential penalties for employers:

The potential for higher penalties for non-compliance as a result of upcoming changes to Health and Safety regulations means employers in the high-risk agricultural sector need to be more aware than ever of their obligations, says Melissa Vining, AGRI Consultant for human resources specialists Progressive Consulting – the HR division of Crowe Horwath.

The government will establish new Crown Agent WorkSafe New Zealand by December 2013, when it also plans to introduce to parliament a new Health and Safety at Work Act, which is expected to come into force by December 2014. . . .

Xero releases farming blueprint:

Xero has released its Farming Integration Guide, a blueprint that helps rural solution providers connect to Xero and deliver integrated farm management and accounting solutions. 

Xero CEO Rod Drury says this is a great example of technology bringing an industry together. “This guide is the key step towards full integration between farmers, rural accountants, rural suppliers, banks and software providers. The innovation we’re experiencing in the tech sector is being applied directly now to the rural economy, the backbone of the NZ economy.” . . .


#gigatown #gigatownoam update

29/10/2013

Oamaru –  #gigatownoam –  is still at the top of the #gigatown leaderboard with 13,192.

That’s around a vote from every single person in the town – a great start for #gigatownoamaru.

It’s all aimed at turning the country’s Sharpest town, into the southern hemisphere’s first #gigatown, courstey of Chorus:

Over the course of the competition, we’ll measure social media and online community engagement in support of each eligible ‘town’.

The town with the loudest voice will be New Zealand’s first Gigatown, and will be well positioned to become a leading digital innovation hub for New Zealand, showcasing how ultra-fast broadband can re-define our economy, reshape how our children learn and change how our communities live, work and play.

Points will be counted up for each town and adjusted relative to the town’s size to become ‘Gigapoints’, which are displayed on this website so you can keep track of your town’s progress. The adjustment for town size ensures that each town has the same opportunity to be the Gigatown.

The five eligible towns with the most points at the end of the initial round will go forward to the finals. Find out more.

Leaving comments with the hashtags #gigatown and #gigatownoamaru or #gigatownoam here or on Facebook or Twitter accounts which register on the GIgatown website will help the cause.


#gigatownoam

28/10/2013

Oamaru, New Zealand’s Sharpest town, is vying to become the southern hemisphere’s first gigatown.

Gigatown Oamaru set a goal of 1,000 Facebook likes by today – and it’s exceeded it.

There were 1030 likes when I checked this morning.

It also has instructions on how to support the campaign:

Here it is folks, the # tag you should use on all your social media sites to spread the word about wonderful Gigatown Oamaru – Simply add the word #gigatownoamaru or #gigatownoam to any post and it will be measured! Start by sharing this po…st, and leaving a comment with those tags, lets see how we get on at the Gigatown.co.nz leaderboard today! We also earn 10 points for everyone who registers with the Gigatown.co.nz website, thats 10,000 points already if we all join! Click on the ‘Join up’ link at the top of their page to register!
It’s not hard to add #gigatownoamaru or #gigatownoam tocomments here, to like and comment on the Facebook page, do your own posts with the #gigatownoamaru or #gigatownoam on Facebook, Twitter or blogs.
Oamaru Life shows the enthusiasm already generated for the campaign:

. . . @ChorusNZ, the company responsible for New Zealand’s telephonic and internet infrastructure, is planning to “light up” one town with 1Gbps (1 gigabit per second) internet, giving it in one go the fastest internet not just in New Zealand but in the entire Southern Hemisphere. And in true New Zealand fashion, they’re going to choose the lucky town democratically, by counting the number of people who support that town’s bid to be the winner. How will they do that? By counting the number of social media posts that include that town’s specific hashtag, along with the number of people who go to the Gigatown website to support it.

Oamaru, our beloved home town, is in the running to be New Zealand’s first gigatown. To some, the idea of Oamaru becoming the gigatown may seem ludicrous. We are famed as being New Zealand’s best-preserved historic town, with 19th century architecture unmatched anywhere else in the country. But at the same time, we were recently picked as the “sharpest town” in New Zealand by our national television network, recognising the unparalleled civic pride that Oamaruvians show, along with the unique combination of characters who make Oamaru their home.

We firmly believe that Oamaru should not only be New Zealand’s “Steampunk Town”, as some know us, nor just its “Sharpest Town”, but also New Zealand’s “Fastest Town”, and therefore we are firmly supporting Oamaru’s bid to be New Zealand’s Gigatown. If you support us, please be sure to use our assigned hashtag, #gigatownoam, in your tweets, Facebook posts, YouTube videos, Tumblr posts, etc etc etc. We will be extremely grateful if you do! If you comment on this post, please include the hashtag (#gigatownoam) too, to give us an extra point! And if you would also express your support on the Gigatown homepage (click for the link here), we’d be thrilled! Thank you in advance for your support!

What are you waiting for?

Please leap over to the homepage and add your support.

I just did and Oamaru is leading with 1706 supporters, nearly twice as many as the second placed town which has 964 supporters.


Can sharpest town be Gigatown? #gigatown #oamaru

21/10/2013

Oamaru, New Zealand’s sharpest town, is vying to be the fastest town, and not just in this country but in the southern hemisphere.

The town, and it’s people, are doing their best to win Chorus’s  competition to become the first in the southern hemisphere to receive one-gigabit per second broadband speeds.

‘Welcome to Gigatown’ will be a year-long competition led by ultra-fast broadband (UFB) infrastructure company Chorus. The competition aims to spark innovation and mobilise the potential of UFB to transform local economies and services to drive better outcomes for New Zealand communities.

Chorus Head of Marketing and Sales, Victoria Crone says the one-gigabit fibre broadband will be deployed to the New Zealand town that shows New Zealand it has the most desire to be Gigatown.

“Over the course of a year we’re going to ask New Zealand communities to get creative, get online and tell New Zealand why their town should receive this gigabit connection,” says Crone.

“Over the next couple of months we will work with local communities and councils, as well as the rest of the telecommunications industry, to make sure we deliver a great competition that gives the widest possible range of communities the chance to be New Zealand’s Gigatown.”

All communities covered by Chorus’ Ultra-fast Fibre build plans will be eligible to enter the competition. Welcome to Gigatown is expected to launch on Labour Day 2013, with the winning town announced in early 2015.

Crone says that Welcome to Gigatown aims to encourage New Zealanders to start thinking about UFB as a huge opportunity to transform our country’s economy and also deliver great social outcomes.

Two international UFB experts are in New Zealand to support the announcement of Welcome to Gigatown and provide commentary on the potential of New Zealand’s unique fibre model.

According to Sheldon Grizzle, an innovation lead at CO.LAB in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the power of Gigabit fibre to transform a town’s economy has been clearly demonstrated as Chattanooga transformed from the most polluted city in the USA to one of its most innovative digital economies.

“The Chattanooga story can happen in New Zealand because it is one of the few countries around the world that is on track to provide fibre connectivity to the majority of its country’s homes, schools and businesses,” says Grizzle.

“It is absolutely possible that the Gigatown project will enable one New Zealand town to transform itself into a leading digital innovation hub for New Zealand and beyond,” he says.

Joining Grizzle in New Zealand is Benoit Felten, an international fibre specialist and founder of the French research and consultancy firm, Diffraction Analysis.

Felten has an incredible breadth and depth of expertise on fibre, from the technology through to industry dynamics, propositions, business models and applications. . .

Chatanooga shows the benefits of ultra fast broadband.

Previously shamed as one of the most polluted and unliveable cities in America, Chattanooga was one of the first cities in the world to roll out a fibre to the premise (FTTP) network offering gigabit connection speeds to homes and businesses. This has been credited 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’s fibre optic network has been emulated by a handful of other cities in the US and it is studied internationally as a model of how to build the smart cities of the future. . .

The competition requires towns to rally their communities to vote.

Winning Chorus’ gigatown competition is at the top of the agenda for a group of Oamaru people who are behind the local campaign.

It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the town to access a one gigabit per second internet connection.

Lance Streeter, Derek Golding and Nicolas Erdody held a meeting on Wednesday night to discuss strategy plans on how to ensure Oamaru wins the competition.

The competition requires communities to rally together to vote for their town.

For a vote to be counted, Oamaru residents will have to take to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and use #gigatown and #oamaru together in a post.

Entries will be evaluated on the size of the town’s population to allow for a fair competition.

Facebook page was set up on October 10 and when I checked a few minutes ago already had 779 likes.

Then there’s twitter #gigatown#oamaru

The internet provides opportunities for people to work away from main population centres. An engineer lives not far from us and works on projects all around the world from his home through the internet.

Faster connections are better connections and becoming a Gigatown would make work like this even easier.


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