Telecom competition a new chance to win wi-fi

23:00, Feb 07 2014

Another competition is about to be rolled out in New Zealand for super-fast internet speeds.

A group of Nelsonians is campaigning for the region to win ultrafast internet offered by broadband installer Chorus. Nelson is now placed 11th in the national Gigatown competition, but the group pushing for the region to win expects Nelson will head up to 10th place this weekend.

The Chorus Gigatown competition is running throughout New Zealand. People can promote their town or city on Facebook and Twitter to win highspeed internet for their town.

Telecom announced this week that it would also run a competition, called GigaWiFi, to win technology to help deliver wi-fi speeds about three times faster than the current standard in New Zealand.

The GigaWiFi competition, through Telecom Digital Ventures, is set to be a "complementary competition" to Chorus' Gigatown, the company says.

Telecom Digital Ventures will be installing next-generation super high speed (1 gigabit per second speeds) hotspots at strategic and high-traffic locations around New Zealand and in towns that win the GigaWiFi competition, which will include the winning town in the Chorus Gigatown competition. Installation at some locations will begin later this year.


Telecom Digital Ventures senior vice-president mobility, commerce, data and apps Ed Hyde said the Telecom competition would complement Chorus' Gigatown because wi-fi can expand the reach and connectivity of the fibre infrastructure Chorus will run off. "The benefits work both ways. Not only does wi-fi expand the reach of fibre, but having good fibre connectivity is essential to realising the full potential of wi-fi," he said.

He added that over the past year, Telecom had rolled out a nationwide Telecom wi-fi network of more than 800 public hotspots in refitted Telecom phone booths.

"That's been hugely popular, with over 280,000 people already signing up to use our wi-fi network and many thousands joining each week.

"Our intention is to continue to build on that. We see a future for all New Zealanders, and visitors, being connected on the go by thousands of Telecom wi-fi hotspots all across the country." While full details of the GigaWiFi competition are yet to be determined, the winning towns will have the ultrafast wi-fi hotspots installed in public areas.

Chorus general manager of marketing and sales Victoria Crone said Chorus was "really excited" with the Telecom wi-fi plan.

Gigatown Nelson campaigner, NMIT information technology tutor Dr Clare Atkins, said she was waiting to hear more details about the Telecom competition, but did worry it would take attention away from the Gigatown campaign she had been dedicated to.

However, she said the ultrafast wi-fi it offered would be "an awesome additional prize" if Nelson won Gigatown.

All aboard for Gigatown, p12

The Nelson Mail