Porirua in ‘Gi­ga­town’ frenzy

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

A frenzy of hash­tags has put Porirua in the run­ning to get the south­ern hemi­sphere’s fastest broad­band in­ter­net.

Porirua is cur­rently in sec­ond place in Cho­rus’ ‘‘Gi­ga­town’’ com­pe­ti­tion, which pits New Zealand towns against each other to find the most vo­cal on so­cial me­dia.

To gain points, res­i­dents need to reg­is­ter at the Gi­ga­town web­site and use the hash­tag #gi­ga­town­porirua on Face­book, Twit­ter, YouTube, In­sta­gram and other so­cial sites.

On the first day of com­pe­ti­tion last Wed­nes­day, Porirua pulled ahead of 46 cities, towns and sub­urbs to clinch sec­ond place, be­hind Oa­maru. Af­ter tak­ing top place on Thurs­day, Porirua slipped to sec­ond place, 25,000 points be­hind Oa­maru.

Cho­rus will award the win­ning town in­ter­net at the speed of one gi­ga­bit per sec­ond, hun­dreds of times faster than reg­u­lar broad­band.

Res­i­dents will get the ser­vice at a spe­cial price, and Cho­rus will give $200,000 to fos­ter en­trepreneurs tak­ing ad­van­tage of the in­ter­net speeds.

Porirua will need to keep up its en­thu­si­asm, be­cause Gi­ga­town is a year-long com­pe­ti­tion. The top five towns will be cho­sen on Septem­ber 14, 2014, and scores will be re­set to zero, no doubt spark­ing a hash­tag hys­te­ria to get over the fin­ish­ing line.

Mayor Nick Leggett has whole­heart­edly en­dorsed the cam­paign, say­ing Porirua de­served to win as the youngest and most di­verse city in the coun­try.

‘‘Ev­ery­one I talk to, even in Wellington, calls it a no brainer. Porirua was cus­tom-made for this kind of in­no­va­tion,’’ he said.

Mr Leggett has made a YouTube video ex­plain­ing what high-speed in­ter­net would mean for Porirua.

‘‘Ev­ery kid in Porirua needs to grow up a dig­i­tal na­tive. Ev­ery busi­ness needs ac­cess to the best tech­nol­ogy on of­fer to help them grow and cre­ate jobs,’’ he said.

‘‘Ev­ery en­tre­pre­neur who calls Porirua home should have world­class dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy right at their doorstep.

‘‘ We will en­list schools, busi­nesses, sport­ing clubs, com­mu­nity groups and house­holds to spread the mes­sage ... that Porirua City is ide­ally placed to make the most of next gen­er­a­tion broad­band.’’

Mr Leggett said Cho­rus would of­fer the cheap broad­band deal for sev­eral years.

Though much of Porirua would be with fi­bre-op­tic cable by next year, Mr Leggett said he hoped to con­vince Cho­rus to lay fi­bre ca­bles to ev­ery house­hold if Porirua won.

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