Timaru has reached fourth place in the Gigatown competition after winning a mini sign-up drive.
Between Thursday last week and Tuesday, Timaru gained more supporters via the Gigatown website than any other town participating in the Chorus social competition, earning it an extra 75,000 points and taking it to fourth on the leader board.
Wanaka remains at the top, but early leader Oamaru has slipped to third behind Masterton. Gisborne now rounds out the top five.
Timaru supporters, including Mayor Damon Odey, took to Twitter and Facebook yesterday to express their excitment, while Aoraki Development Business and Tourism (ABDT) chief executive Wendy Smith was also delighted with the win.
"ABDT have put a lot into the Gigatown Timaru campaign to date, so it great to see us in the top five," Mrs Smith said.
"Thanks to everyone who signed up during the competition, it shows that we are a vibrant community who understand how high speed internet can help transform and grow the region."
Towns have until September 30 to vie for a spot in the top five, after which representatives from the finalist towns will be flown to Chattanooga in the United States - where fast internet was installed three years ago - to get inspired for final stage of the competition.
Gigatown, a promotion led by fibre-optic provider Chorus, pits towns against one another for the chance of getting broadband speeds up to one gigabit per second, which is about 10 times faster than what is offered in the ultra-fast broadband roll-out.
The winning town will also receive a $200,000 innovation fund.
The town with the biggest social media voice - through its use of designated hashtags on sites such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Youtube - will claim the prize.
Timaru's designated hashtags are #gigatowntimaru or #gigatowntim
- The Timaru Herald