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Wanaka to be ultra fast hub despite missing Gigatown prize

Press Release – Gigatown Wanaka

The Southern Lakes town of Wanaka is pressing ahead with a number of initiatives to grow and diversify its local economy despite missing out on the national Gigatown ultra-fast broadband (UFB) competition, the final result of which was announced in …Wanaka to become ultra fast hub despite missing out on Gigatown prize

The Southern Lakes town of Wanaka is pressing ahead with a number of initiatives to grow and diversify its local economy despite missing out on the national Gigatown ultra-fast broadband (UFB) competition, the final result of which was announced in Wellington this evening.

Wanaka was one of five finalists along with Gisborne, Nelson, Timaru and eventual winner Dunedin in the 14-month competition run by Chorus, the country’s largest telecommunications infrastructure company. Dunedin will now receive access to a one gigabit per second Internet connection.

Wanaka’s campaign team are already implementing their ‘Plan for Gig Success’ submitted as part of their competition entry and overseeing the install of UFB-capable fibre in the town centre which should have its own one gigabit per second connection within two to three years.

They are also about to open The Cell, a new incubator-style facility in the old police station where entrepreneurs will have access to office space, mentoring and private equity investment contacts.

GigatownWanaka campaign manager, Kelly Good said although she was disappointed by the result she was inspired by the energy and passion shown by the town’s population and some influential friends around the world.

“This has been a fantastic experience and one that will continue to bring significant economic and social benefits to Wanaka and the Southern Lakes region,” she said.

“Huge thanks to all our supporters and many congratulations to Dunedin. The contest has played out in the best possible spirit and we wish them all the best for their future. We’ll be watching their progress with interest and hope to work with them directly as their plans unfold.”

Ms Good added that the town’s business community led by Wanaka Chamber of Commerce had already been pursuing a similar path to that promoted by the Gigatown contest long before it was launched.

“We started discussing how to diversify the local economy into areas like education, ICT, film and health and add value to its existing strong tourism presence in 2010. This was built around funding a business development board for the town and exploring high speed connections required to make it work,” she said.

“If the Chamber had not secured entry into the Gigatown competition Wanaka would have been off New Zealand’s UFB plan until 2020 so we will still be celebrating tonight!”

More details about The Cell will be announced soon. Anyone wanting more information in the meantime should email gigatown.wanaka@gmail.com.

ENDS

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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