Passion the key in Gigatown competition

AUDREY MALONE
Last updated 05:00 10/07/2014
gigatown timaru
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/ Fairfax NZ
TECH TALK: Students participate in a Gigatown Timaru presentation led by Iain Bamber of Aoraki Development Business and Tourism.

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It is passion not points that will win Timaru the southern hemisphere's fastest broadband.

Communications company Chorus was in Timaru yesterday to talk about the Gigatown competition. The year-long competition is to be the first town to have broadband with a speed of 1 gigabit per second - 10 times the speed of ultrafast broadband - rolled out, accompanied by a $200,000 development fund.

Industry and communications manager Gerard Linstrom and government relations manager Nick Manning talked to Rangitata MP Jo Goodhew and mayor Damon Odey about what the implications would be for Timaru if it won the competition.

Linstrom said the winning town would be chosen from the top five towns on the leaderboard.

"We want a town which has both the infrastructure ready and the community is ready for social change," he said.

"We want a town that will inspire the rest of the country."

Linstrom said the feeling and passion the community had for the concept was one of the most important attributes.

"Last night when I walked from my motel to Fusion I saw green hashtags everywhere.

"It shows Timaru is on board with this campaign," he said.

Manning said Chorus was visiting at least the top 10 towns on the leaderboard.

The purpose was to meet with the MPs and mayors, he said.

The finalist towns would be selected later this year by a panel of judges who would also act as mentors for the respective towns, Manning said.

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- The Timaru Herald

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