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The importance of ultra-fast broadband and why #GigatownWanaka is vital

The importance of ultra-fast broadband and why #GigatownWanaka is vital
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The Gigatown scoreboard on November 8. #GigatownWanaka is 3rd place

With the acceleration of the internet economy across the globe, the importance of ultra-fast broadband is greater than ever.

Especially in a town like Wanaka, where high-speed internet is vital for the many small-to-medium businesses here.

Wanaka Chamber of Commerce members were today told about the benefits of UFB by Chorus marketing manager Victoria Crone. Chorus, New Zealand’s largest telecommunications infrastructure company, is running a campaign to make a small New Zealand town a “Gigatown” – and the winner of the Gigatown competition will ultimately have more internet data than it knows what to do with.

Basically, it means that our internet speed will be 100-times faster than what it is now. And what we have now is 100-times faster than the old days of snail-paced dial-up internet.

Here’s why having high-speed internet is so important:

Having UFB means there’ll be more Wifi hotspots around the town/country/globe. According to a Chorus forecast, over the next three years Wifi hotspots will grow 346% globally.

That means business can be done anywhere (if you’re on the cloud – and only 14% of NZ businesses use the cloud), sales transactions can be done with a simple wave of a bankcard, traffic lights can function, emergency services can be mobilised. The use of smart phones is just going to keep growing, and businesses with apps will benefit from the increased mobility. It’s expected that 41 billion apps will be downloaded worldwide over the next three years.

The internet enables services like online marketing – you can reach any customer around the world. Going social means you can connect with a much larger community. And through the use of big data analytics, business owners can know so much more about their customers.

Chorus wants NZ to be in the top-10 countries in the world with UFB by 2020. They anticipate there’ll be $33 billion worth of productivity benefits through their fibre roll-out.

Thanks to the benefits that UFB brings – like video conferencing, tele conferencing, online purchasing and cloud-based education, it will help businesses keep costs down, manage cashflow easier and beat their competitors.

Faster internet means more productive industries – and Wanaka could become a hub for productive industries and innovation, Crone says.

Which is why Wanaka needs to win the Gigatown competition. Residents need to get loud on social media – use #GigatownWanaka wherever you can – and sign up on Chorus’ website. It’s a year-long competition and the town with the most amount of points wins. So get hash-tagging.


Celia Crosbie
Written by Celia Crosbie
Celia is an award-winning former journalist who has worked for newspapers and radio stations in New Zealand and magazines in the United Kingdom. She has worked in public relations in both NZ and London. Celia also specialises in digital media strategy and website copywriting for SEO.