Dunedin launches southern hemisphere's fastest public wi-fi network - and it's free

Gigatown competition-winning Dunedin is today launching what it bills as the southern hemisphere's fastest wi-fi network, and it's free. 

The "GigCity Gigabit Wi-Fi", initially available around the Octagon,  is more than 50 times faster than the average public wi-fi and has been made available thanks to collaboration between The Digital Community Trust (DCT), Chorus, Dunedin City Council (DCC) and Dunedin ISP Unifone. Chorus picked up 90% of the build cost.

It's also the first initiative under the new "GigCity" brand, which was also unveiled today.

While the council's old wi-fi network could only accommodate a handful of users at a time, the new supercharged version takes full advantage of the one gigabit per second service being offered to Dunedin at low cost by Chorus as part of its Gigatown prize (which also included $700,000 in development and community grants from Chorus and Alcatel Lucent).

The free Gigabit Wi-Fi network will be extended to other parts of the city over time.

The GigCity Community Fund was also launched today. The Fund is for community innovators exploring the use of ultra-high speed broadband technologies to enhance the development, experimentation and implementation of community learning and workforce opportunities in Dunedin.

Applications for grants of up to $20,000 open on October 10. See www.gigcitydunedin.co.nz for details. 

See the special Dunedin feature in Friday's print edition of NBR for more on how the city is taking advantage of Gigatown.

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