DCC (EDU) invents new job! —Gigatown/Digital Office

Anonymous: In what possible universe does it take a full time role to coordinate sending tweets?

Whatifdunedin: Something Chanel could do in her coffee breaks across the day.


———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Chanel O’Brien [DCC EDU]
Date: Thu, Oct 17, 2013 at 1:11 PM
Subject: New Role – Gigatown Project Coordinator
To: Chanel O’Brien
Cc: “EDU (Economic Development)”

Good Afternoon,

Gigatown will be the first town in the Southern Hemisphere to access one gigabit per second (1Gbps) internet connection. The winning town will be the one that creates the most buzz using social media and online community engagement. The town with the loudest voice will be New Zealand’s first Gigatown and will be positioned to become a leading digital innovation hub for New Zealand.


The Digital Office is looking for a Gigatown Project Coordinator who will help Dunedin with the campaign to win the Gigatown challenge by coordinating, promoting and running events across the City. A pivotal role in this exciting opportunity for the City.

The position description is attached. [see below]

For more information please contact the Digital Office at:

hello @ digitaloffice.co.nz

Thank you

Best wishes


Chanel O’Brien
Business Development Advisor
Economic Development Unit
Dunedin City Council

50 The Octagon, Dunedin; P O Box 5045, Moray Place, Dunedin 9058, New Zealand

Telephone: 03 477 4000; Fax: 03 474 3736
Email: chanel.obrien @ dcc.govt.nz

● Position Description – Project Coordinator

Related Posts and Comments:
4.2.12 DCC digital strategy, um…
30.9.11 Wellington Towards 2040
20.12.10 Your City Our Future – call for community feedback and suggestions
28.9.10 #AugmentedReality @ Dunedin
3.8.10 Paperless council – more or less transparent?
14.7.10 DScene – wtf the survey’s wrong?
10.6.10 DCC Media Release – Consulting on draft digital communication strategy
24.11.09 DCC: “Linking Dunedin to the World”
18.8.09 Wi-Fi: DCC favours Octagon businesses to exclusion of others
20.7.09 Want/need free Wi-Fi network – do we???

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, DCC, Economics, Geography, Hot air, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, What stadium

133 responses to “DCC (EDU) invents new job! —Gigatown/Digital Office

  1. I’m more concerned with the fact we have something called the Digital Office.
    There is a name for experts that cover the social media, it is a thing.

  2. There will be a lot of competition for this so chances of success are slim. It should be questioned whether committing resources and focus to what seems to be largely a marketing promotion for Chorus is the best way to promote Dunedin..

  3. Ray

    Where will Gigatown be? We should be asking about Terratown or some futuristic term should be used. Gigatown as a term is a bit lame. Of course Terratown might not go well past 2001, 9/11 ?

  4. Chanel? Isn’t that some sort of underarm odour suppressant? Oh I get it, it’s a comedy show hence all the giggles. Who the hell wants to live in ‘Giggletown’ ?

  5. Mike

    The ‘digital office’ is Dave’s big thing from the previous election, it hasn’t really done much that’s real given that it’s had 3 years to do it.

    The whole broadband rollout seems to have stalled in Dunedin – a year ago the streets were being torn up in lots of places – that seems to have stopped – and if you look at Chorus’s rollout map they’ve stopped promising any more fibre in Dunedin before 2016 (they used to have areas slated for 2014 and 2015).

    I think that Chorus low-bid the entire fibre thing in order to keep its monopoly position, and its chickens are coming home to roost, which is why they are now getting the govt to prop their copper business – the Chorus fibre ad on the Andy Bay railway overbridge makes me laugh – it has a fine print that says something like “may not be available in all areas” – I’m tempted to climb up there and replace it with some truth in advertising, in larger print: “not available in most of Dunedin”.

    I’m a bit mystified that we’re being promised a gigabit feed if we tweet enough about Chorus – surely we already need many gigabits to feed all that fibre that’s already here (something like a couple of gigabits per city block), if not there seems little point in having the fibre at all.

    (note VDSL is available already over most of Dunedin, has been for a while)

  6. Oh well, Dave and Jinty will just have to concentrate on the cycleways. Come to think of it, information can be transported by bike, pretty quick too. Remember the ‘telegram boys’, if you are not too old?

  7. Anonymous

    Shrug. Everyone (*) will eventually get high speed one way or another. This is just marketing blowhard. What I would like to see is Delta focus on keeping the competent staff it has now instead of replacing them with more airheads|executives|narcissists.

    * Except for those people who just can’t get any sort of useful or affordable broadband access.

  8. To see Dave Cull and Ian Taylor speak you would think that if Dunedin won this seeming contest it, and it alone would be blessed with this super speed internet connection. So Chorus is never going to roll it out all over the country through time? Give me a break, please! Do these two honestly think we are all mad?

  9. Anonymous

    That our civic leaders and the Dear Mr Taylor should fall for this obvious marketing ploy speaks volumes.

    • Will anyone tell them the truth and stop the appointment process ?

      ODT are you out there ?

      • A pig in a poke comes to mind

        • Ridiculous hype.

          ”This is the next gold rush. I call it the yellow brick road. The gold rush was our peak. It’s when we built our university, our railway station … To have this level of data will put us back at the top.” –Ian Taylor

          ### ODT Online Wed, 30 Oct 2013
          Gigatown contest offers pot of gold
          By John Gibb
          Being the first city in the southern hemisphere to provide residents with one gigabit per second (1gbs) internet connection speeds could send Dunedin into an upward economic spiral equivalent to the gold rush, a prominent Dunedin technology application specialist says. Ian Taylor said the last time Dunedin experienced a major economic boom was in the 1860s, during the Otago gold rush, and he believed if the city won Chorus’ Welcome to Gigatown community competition, which offers 1gbs internet connection for three years, it would enable Dunedin to become a leading digital innovation hub for New Zealand and beyond.
          Read more

  10. Gigawanaka, GigaQ’twn, GigaOamaru, Hey ! GIGAWANKERDUN!

    • [Boring. Irrelevant. Better things to do.]

      Dunedin City Council – Media Release
      City’s Bid to Become Leading Digital Hub

      This item was published on 29 Oct 2013.

      Dunedin is in the running to win the fastest broadband speeds in the southern hemisphere, which would bring major economic development benefits. The opportunity to be the first city in the southern hemisphere to have one gigabit per second (1 Gbps) internet connection would enable Dunedin to become a leading digital innovation hub for New Zealand and beyond.
      Chorus is organising a community competition called Welcome to Gigatown which means Dunedin will compete with other New Zealand centres over a period of 15 months to win an early upgrade to a 1Gbps network –100 times faster internet than we have now.
      Launching Dunedin’s bid today, Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull says, “Yes, you will be able to download data more quickly, but the real opportunity is in Dunedin building on its technological infrastructure and environment to move data more efficiently and connect with businesses and communities all over the world. With the right communications networks, Dunedin becomes a very attractive proposition for investors interested in the opportunities Dunedin offers in health technologies, education and learning, niche manufacturing and design technologies. That in turn will pull in more talented people who choose to live in Dunedin, raise families and work globally.”
      The power of this connection would give start-ups, software companies and developers who can to live anywhere in the world a reason to choose Dunedin.
      Chorus launched the Gigatown competition yesterday.
      For Dunedin to win, residents need to take to social media to tweet, like and share their views on why Dunedin should win access to 1Gbps internet services for three years. The hashtags are #GigatownDunedin and #GigatownDUN. Whoever creates the biggest buzz will become Gigatown so start sharing your ideas at http://www.dunedinnz.com/gigatown or at http://www.facebook.com/gigatowndunedin. Each piece of hashtagged content will earn Gigapoints, as will each subsequent share, like, retweet or comment.
      An ongoing city wide conversation will need to focus on how Dunedin will apply digital communications creatively and practically on an everyday basis to achieve our economic goals of increasing skills, incomes, job opportunities and investment in the city and provide a better service for ratepayers.
      A project co-ordinator, located at the Dunedin Digital Office, will be appointed to drive Gigatown activities on behalf of the city.
      For more information on Gigatown, visit http://www.gigatown.co.nz.
      Contact Business Development Advisor on 03 477 4000.

      DCC Link

      • Let me see….
        Dunedin City Council – Media Release
        City’s Bid to Become Leading Digital Hub

        Dunedin is in the running …for a community competition… to have one gigabit per second (1 Gbps) internet connection…. to win, residents need to take to social media to tweet, like and share their views on why Dunedin should win access to 1Gbps internet services for three years.

        Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull says, “Yes, you will be able to download data more quickly,

        Well that is nice to know.
        A couple of questions though Elizabeth
        Erm …if we don’t win? Do we get to sack this project co-ordinator, located at the Dunedin Digital Office, appointed to drive Gigatown activities on behalf of the city? And when would we otherwise get this one gigabit per second (1 Gbps) internet connection?

        • Mick – too hard basket!!! You would hope ODT asked these sorts of questions. But yes, failing this, I guess we’re doomed to writing letters directed to the Mayor and Chief Executive for reply, via the auspices of the ODT editor.

          Or indeed, an official information request to the DCC Chief Executive.

        • ### dunedintv.co.nz November 12, 2013 – 7:00pm
          Dunedin drops to eighth place
          Dunedin has dropped to eighth place on the list of top Gigatowns, and the DCC is calling again for people to sign up and win the city a competition that will increase internet speeds.

      • Cars

        Any small internet startup company considering setting up in Dunedin to take advantage of the incredible internet speed had better advise its CEO and staff of their immediate taking on of $15,000 worth of individual DCC debt new Dunedinites inherit. That would cool my ardour, particularly as in some towns with equal speed only incur $600 worth of inherited liabilities.

  11. Elizabeth, I fear that the silence would be deafening on the first approach, obfuscated on the second and too late from the third.

  12. The latest imbroglio over the “Chorus” contract to supply ultra broadband access to New Zealanders has all the hallmarks of the disasters emanating from the ‘Neo Conservative’ policies of the the ‘eighties’. It was ‘Rogernomics’ which decided that the state had no business in owning and operating business enterprises. This brought about the undoing of the ‘strategic’ activities which were at that stage deemed to be the people’s assets.
    First was the original Post & Telegraph, which was the postal and telegraphic services. Hived off to American interests which promptly asset stripped and transferred most profits overseas until it was of no further interest and then dumped back onto the government and local shareholders. It has struggled ever since to generate sufficient revenue to enable investment in modern technologies, pay dividends to keep the valuation of the share register afloat. Result, a catch-up position ever since and a constant battle to provide a service adequate for the times. Constant rejigging and changing of operating divisions, all the time managed by people with no ‘skin in the game’ on astronomical salaries/bonus payments.
    Here we are again at the crossroads. The same thing happened with the former NZ Railroads, sold off to American breakup artists. Then Australian Toll stripped what remained to the bone and left it for the taxpayer to pick up the pieces. It has been a huge burden ever since.
    Electricity generation and distribution has, and is, going through the same monstrous confidence trick of government with the taxpayer/consumers being robbed of both assets and services.
    They, haven’t as yet touched the country’s highway systems, but just give them time and they will get around to it as well.
    I am not anti capitalist, but firmly believe that the strategic essentials of a modern society should be in the hands of the citizens. To say society is incapable of owning and operating these enterprises is an insult. The success or failure of these services is like any operation a matter of efficient management, not ownership. Communications, Energy and efficient Transport (both road and rail, both freight and people) are these essentials. Without the people in control of these vital facilities they are at the mercy of the financial ‘manipulators’, most of whom are overseas-controlled with the profit motif their only guidelines. New Zealand has suffered for over thirty years of this exploitation with no sign that our leaders have the faintest idea of what they are doing. Don’t expect any great changes, but continued exploitation. Any New Zealand growth has been in spite of, rather than because of any of these actions.

    • Russell Garbutt

      Calvin, you are correct. The issue of Chorus is a much simpler rip-off of the citizenry. Let’s just put it simply and as it is. The Government determine that Telecom should not own the infrastructure to conduct its business so that arm is split off and called Chorus.

      Chorus then enter into an enforceable contract with Government to supply ultrafast broadband. Who to and when of course is a movable feast.

      But then Chorus are forced by the Commerce Commission to drop the price of supply of the copper network to reasonable levels – entirely lawfully. Despite all these possibilities being part of “due process” and robust contract negotiations, Chorus now are saying to their main mate in the National Party (Stephen Joyce the Slagger) that if they are to meet the lawful directions of the Commerce Commission then they can’t afford to install the UFB network.

      Who do you think Joyce will have sympathy for? Will he go to Chorus and say “tough cheese, you entered into a contract with our help by restricting any competition, but you should have known your business better than anyone, so you just buckle down, meet your contractual obligations, and take the hit”, or will he say “Jeez mate, I can see that this is really going to affect your executive bonuses and pay-scales, so I’ll get that nice blonde mate of mine on the front bench to put up some sham enquiry, we’ll play on the need to get UFB to out of the way places like Dunedin – you could run a competition of some sort – and we’ll bail you out like we’ve done with some of our other mates. Talk to some of the SCF people to see how it all works out.”

      What scenario do you see being played out?

  13. “I am not anti capitalist” – me too, Calvin. And I’m not religious-cultist either way, which has been the disaster factor in communism, rogernomics, think-big and all those “one solution that we’ll use for every situation”.

    The government should never “own” our assets – our strategic assets which should as you say belong to us the people – because every now and then they decide that since they own them they can sell them and use the money for their own pet project, or prop up their failures in management and stewardship and maybe get another 3 years in power before the majority of voters work out what’s happened.

    • The government should never “own” our assets (They don’t, they just don’t seem to realise that.)– our strategic assets which should as you say belong to us the people (They do belong to us.) – because every now and then they decide that since they own them they can sell them and use the money for their own pet project, (there is the theft) or prop up their failures in management and stewardship and maybe get another 3 years in power before the majority of voters work out what’s happened.

      What was the leader known for in his last job? Asset stripping I believe. The smiling assassin. The prick is still smiling.

      What would be more interesting is to see someone with a big bankroll take them to court on theft charges. What’s Kim.com up to atm??

  14. Hype; EXACTLY!!! Problem though, if the powers that be, followed that logic it would deprive them of the power to divert the people’s wealth to their own uses. Just look at Wall St (the New York one) to see what I mean. They are not just happy with ‘sufficient’, they want it all. And our governments suck up to them. Just look at our pathetic lot with the ‘asset sale’ programme, the GCSB bill, the PPTP negotiations etc. You could be excused for believing it was all a grand plan. Trouble is, our ‘wankers’ aren’t really in it, they just think they are. When you get down to our local governance scene you seriously wonder how they can get up in the morning and dress themselves.

  15. Rob Hamlin

    It all gets very difficult with all the Bullshit that flies around these days. As I have said before, the requirement to tell the truth has simply disappeared, and nobody is held to account for it. It is a particular problem with our educated and verbally ‘clever’ upper echelons, and I smile when I have to supply a ‘professional witness in good standing’ for a passport or some such. In today’s world I can see no particular reason to attach a higher value to a barrister’s word than to that of a brickie.

    Last week a CEO of one of our major banks announced that the exorbitant profits made by his bank were justified as they were a ‘reasonable return on the shareholders’ capital’.

    Now, as the stockmarket is an efficient capital market in which stocks’ capital values are established by discounted expected future cashflows, and money flows from lower to higher returns and back again, this is an entirely bullshit statement. The banks made $1 billion profit plus out of this country last year. It represents a significant slice of this nation’s total GDP, and a massive millstone on its balance of payments.

    If that profit doubled next year, with a reasonable expectation that Jonky could be relied upon to protect the cartel’s profits in the long term, then the capital value of the shares would double too. It would double pretty much immediately as international money headed in the said banks’ direction – thus keeping that precious return on shareholders’ investment at a stable level, and the CEO’s proffered excuse for said excessive profits perpetually valid at the same time. One would imagine however that his bonus might well go up. Did he know it was B.S.? – Well if he didn’t, he wasn’t fit to hold his job. Was he pursued on it? – No.

    Now let’s look at these miserable ‘Roast Busters’. Up until yesterday, the police were saying that they could not prosecute because they had no complainants. Furthermore, they were urging complainants to come forward – A nasty prospect for anybody considering it, even if what we know now did not apply.

    Purely because a prior registered police ‘Roast Busters’ complainant chose to go to TV3 rather than the police (and who can blame her for that if the details of her story about how she was treated check out), we now know that at least four women have formally complained about the activities of this group.

    This admission was unwillingly forced out of the Police as an outcome of TV3’s publicity. Had the complainant not gone to TV3, there is no evidence to suggest that the existence of these prior complainants would ever have emerged.

    Now it should be the primary focus of any inquiry to find out WHY the police behaved as they did. At what point did someone who should have said ‘yes’ to the existence of prior formal complaints, instead say ‘no’, and why did they do so?

    A claim of ‘accidental oversight’ for several days with such a specific and high profile case stretches credulity somewhat. It is a crime for a member of the public to waste police time, and people have been jailed for it. Surely a similar charge should be laid if the police choose to waste the public’s time and to unnecessarily ask them to put their wellbeing and reputation on the line on the basis of statements that are not true?

    Matters should not rest until this specific matter is cleared up. But I suspect that they will be left to rest…

    Let’s take a further hypothetical situation: Should a major public figure who has conducted an extended and deliberate illicit affair involving the provision of free hotel rooms by the hour for the purpose be allowed to treat it as a ‘private matter’. I don’t think so, for the following two major reasons:

    1) If they are prepared to betray the trust of their spouse and family, then it’s a reasonable assumption that they would be capable of doing the same to me.

    2) The matter of free hotel rooms would be a major issue. I am sure that if I rocked up to a hotel in a major city and asked for a free room for a couple of hours to bonk my squeeze, I would be given short shrift by the front desk. If this public figure was not, then it would be necessary to ask persistently: How was this arrangement between figure and hotel first established? Presumably the desk concierge would not have had the immediate authority to initiate that kind of deal, and if the price was not paid up front in the form of the personal cash of said figure, then when and how was it eventually going to be paid – And by who?

    If the population who were represented by said leader put up with this claim of personal and professional behavioural separation, then they would receive (and deserve) more of the same.

    • Rob, it will be interesting to see if the SkyCity room(s) for a ‘major public figure’ are part and parcel of how a National government backed conference centre and casino development pan out.

    • Russell Garbutt

      Rob, these young scum that parade round as the Roastbusters have powerful allies in our society. Not the least of these is the NZ Police. While I am really sure that there are many within the NZ Police that abhor the behaviour of these scum, there are others that clearly don’t. This has been the case for many years and is typified by the Louise Nicholas case and of course by the revelations in the Tom Lewis book on Police involvement in making sure that illegal activities involving young children in sexual rings were simply not followed up or ignored.

      What of the father of one of these scum who happens to be a cop? When was he advised of the Police involvement? What did he do as a cop? What did he do as a parent? Why do the Police continue to say that this whole issue is a “moral” one, when clearly it is a serious Crimes Act matter?

      Why were all these complaints withheld from the knowledge of the Police Commissioner? Or were they? Most importantly, why did the Auckland cop boss keep on saying that no complaints were received when this was a downright lie?

      I no longer have any trust whatsoever in the NZ Police, and I have less trust in the IPCA who continue to act as some sort of branch office of the Police. My sense is that the NZ Police will be spending a hell of a lot more time in ensuring that their incompetence is minimised than finding out why they have demonstrably failed to protect underage girls from predatory sexual exploitation.

      I happened to recently hear a fascinating conversation between a member of the judiciary of the Youth Court and an academic professorial researcher on the issue of youth crime rates. It seems that the Police can report a drop in youth crime because they CHOOSE not to proceed on cases that they previously would have done so. This results in stats that appear to show a reduction in crime rates which is actually not true. This pleases the Police and the Politicians. But it doesn’t reflect the truth.

  16. Russell, If simple folk like you, me and Hype can see it, how come the ‘mug plebs’ can’t? Because they simply don’t even think about the mechanics of how the game is ‘rigged.’ Yet they queue up to invest. Just look at the ‘Mighty River Power’ rort. When one fronts up with a goodly amount of one’s life savings to buy something which they already own and paid for, it is hard to feel sorry if it goes ‘pear shaped’. These government manipulators trade on the simple maxim that ‘there’s one born every minute’.

  17. What is anyone saying when they object to other people getting a LIVING wage?

  18. I think they’re saying that as far as they’re concerned, regarding those low-valued people, living is “up to personal choice” – nobody else’s responsibility.
    “Can’t afford the necessities of life? Oh dear how sad. Be like me and get rich why dontcha?”


    Radio New Zealand National
    Sunday Morning with Chris Laidlaw

    Listen on 101 FM or online at radionz.co.nz

    10 November 2013

    8:40 Bryan Gould – Myths and Money
    Bryan Gould believes we are losing faith in the democratic process. He talks to Chris about politicians’ surrender of our democracy to those who control the global economy.

    Bryan Gould is a former UK Labour Party MP and former vice-chancellor of the University of Waikato. His book Myths, Politicians & Money: The Truth Behind the Free Market, is published by Palgrave Macmillan.


  20. Anonymous

    Inept. Oamaru is running away with things. Because of the population adjustment, an Oamaru point is worth 8 Dunedin points approximately. Oamaru is 150,000 points ahead at present. To close the gap, Dunedin needs to score 1.2 million points (that’s 1.2 million tweets or mentions of the gigatown hashtag). If Oamaru etc continue scoring at their current rate, the gap can never be closed (automated tweeting is out, it has to be manual). With 3000 or so participants on the Dunedin effort, that’s 400 tweets or mentions per person just to close the gap. Or they could get every citizen to sign up at 10 points each * 120K residents = 1.2 million, but that’s a one-time thing.

    Full-time role at say $40K p.a. ($80K to the city including overheads), hey it’s only 6c/tweet.

  21. Anonymous

    This position has now been filled. The position is for an employee within EDU, reporting to General Manager, Digital Office. I don’t know how that works.

  22. Copied from another thread:

    Submitted on 2013/11/23 at 8:17 pm

    A Dunedin CCO operates under the direction of a Trust. The Trust reports to Council. Council cannot direct the Trust. A Councillor chairs the Trust.
    CEO appoints an employee in EDU. Employee reports to General Manager of CCO, not to a manager within Council.
    What’s wrong with this picture? Is anyone convinced by the story that a Trust is truly independent of the DCC?

  23. Huh? Stirrings from Animation Research Ltd, Motion Sickness Studio, and Brand Aid.
    The names together, are to mirth inclined :P

    ### ODT Online Sun, 8 Dec 2013
    Campaign for fast ‘net has business support
    By Tim Miller – The Star
    Dunedin needs to take the opportunity of having the fastest internet in the southern hemisphere seriously and get behind the Gigatown competition. That is the message from some businesses relying on the internet daily.
    Read more


    [Great] Comment at ODT Online:

    Great leadership
    Submitted by farsighted on Sun, 08/12/2013 – 8:07am.
    With leadership like this from the local community, it is no wonder we are a backwater. Looking at the comments with respect to the competition, nothing stacks up here.
    Read more

  24. Anonymous

    This whole Gigatown marketing is quite fascinating. Gigabit to the home? It’ll happen some day but not on the whim of a marketing campaign. It seems to me that many of the more excitable posts are likely from the Facebook/Twitter crowds who exhaust their broadband with Youtube equiv downloads. While broadband is reasonable widespread, higher speed VDSL is already available in some areas and fibre in some built up locations. But reliability is questionable beyond a certain central point and cost makes downloading those songs and bootleg movies just plain ridiculous. Why people suddenly believe they’re going to get gigabit performance to their home is beyond me when infrastructure spending in this city has always taken the very back seat to glamour projects.

    The triple speed ads by the big telco’s are friggin’ funny – right down to the exceptions “not available in all areas” and “affected by environmental factors”. One thing for certain is the viruses will spread faster.

  25. The big problem with ultra-fast broadband is the data caps on the currently available affordable plans : they are little different than those for standard broadband plans. There is no point having ultra-fast speed if you can use up your whole month’s data allowance in a few minutes.

  26. Anonymous

    VDSL is a dead-end; delivery on copper is too inconsistent.
    Fibre is certainly the future and several companies are doing truly unlimited plans, which is also the future.
    But yeh, Gigatown is a red herring and it seems the local campaign has just realised it.

  27. Phil

    Alistair, that is why other countries cap the data speed, not the data quantity, through various plans. For the very reason you stated. The quantity is unlimited, but you pay for the speed with which you receive it. The NZ system is still flawed at the base level.

  28. More Dunedin people realise the Chorus campaign is a dog?

    ### ODT Online Sun, 26 Jan 2014
    Community key in race for ultra-fast broadband
    By Dan Hutchinson
    Complacency could be Dunedin’s biggest enemy as it competes for the title of ‘‘Gigatown” and the fastest internet service in the country.
    Chorus’ Gigatown contest will see one town provided with ultra›fast broadband – up to one gigabit per second – at wholesale prices.
    Read more

  29. Anonymous

    Someone in council doesn’t seem to think so. They’re joyously spending public money on the marketing campaign around town. Signs everywhere, using that yesterday font and pointing to websites. Wouldn’t surprise me if time and expenses were in the tens of thousands again for this silliness. Who ever the lucky punter is with their hands in the council’s website development must be as happy as Good Old Boy at the trough.

  30. GigatownDun is not going well. Emergency tweet at the weekend warning that Nelson was about to overtake and put Dunedin in 10th place, and that has happened:
    Top 5 required to get in the finals.
    Things are getting desperate:

    The DCC is employing someone for this campaign.
    How much is the total cost and will it be wasted?

  31. “Pardon me boy, is that the Chatanooga choo choo,
    track twenty nine, boy, gimme me a shine, shovel all the
    coal in, gotta get her rollin’, way, on down the line, dinner
    in the diner, nothing could be finer than ham and eggs
    in old Carolina. nothing could be bigger than a one million
    giga, in Dunnos where they borrow, like there’s no tomorrow,
    so shovel all the coal in we gotta keep her rollin, toot!
    toot! toot! here we come. faster and faster, gotta beat the
    master, how do we do it, without disaster, really doesn’t
    matter, he’s all gums and chatter, some do say, mad as a
    hatter. that’s our boy, with the golden chain, no-one can beat
    him, he is so vain. if we don’t get it, some-one else will, all
    we’ll be left, is the whopping great bill. So shovel all the coal
    in, gotta keep her rollin’, Dunnos day is now a foldin’, toot!
    toot! toot! Chatanooga choo choo take me home, choo…choo…choo

    Apologies to the Mills Brothers.
    Syncopated to train speed.

  32. Anonymous

    Report is utter tripe.
    Every time the coordinators organize a campaign to improve the ranking, it has the opposite effect. Tonight they went from 3000 points behind Whakatane to 4200 points behind.
    Total ineptness from Digital Office.
    Start asking questions about the funding and expenditure with no results.
    Why is the Digital Office Manager only part time? Why does he not live in Dunedin? How much does DCC pay Effectus?

  33. Jinty and Stu Fleming onto this on Twitter:

    • MacTavish is late to be asking questions. And I note she had to be prompted! I suppose better late than never. Her twitter account will long ago have seen how many fan #gigatown (Dunedin) tweets have issued from the likes of, say, Chamber Copeman in recent months. A clue…doh, to look at the DCC in-house coordination effort! Hell, even Fliss was tweeting for Chorus back when.

  34. Look who else is now twittering and gigatowning:

    • Which only goes to the fact that the average punter simply doesn’t understand what the Chorus marketing is compared to the product on offer. Parochialism as a tool will never explain a product or patchy area service that will fail many. So it’s really cool, right. LOL Especially to be an ambassador. Spot the lack of right and proper information provided to the CEO by EDU and the Digital Office. Forget hype. Further proof DCC should stay out of ‘business’ it doesn’t understand.

  35. Can you believe this!!? “Gigatown ‘game changer'” The Star 13/02/14 covers this story as a sensational opportunity for Dunedin to get in front of the technology race. Deputy Mayor Chris Staynes extols the benefits of: “winning the Gigatown Competition as being a game changer for Dunedin”.
    I am not making this up, it’s there in black and white.
    It seems that Chorus is running a competition to see which area first gets reticulated with the super ‘one gigabit per second’ internet connection. Dunedin is spending $60,000 in promotion of this “farce”. Just look at it and see if there is not a monumental con going on.
    The points table shows Wanaka, with a population of 8,646 persons with 876,788 points is in first place. Dunedin with a population of 120,246 persons with 180,597 points is in eleventh place. Go figure!!!?

    • Of course the Gigatown competition is rigged : the points are “adjusted” for population (at least for the stage until September).
      The smaller the town that wins, the less it will cost Chorus to supply the discounted Giga-Internet. A city the size of Dunedin has very little chance.

  36. Anonymous

    That Cr Staynes continues to push the wheelbarrow of “game changer” is of extreme concern. Gigabit connectivity is a commodity already in other cities. Waiting for it to be rented from Chorus is a vacuous fallacy. This is not leadership, this is simply cheerleading.

  37. The joke is, eventually the whole of NZ will get Gigabit connectivity. It is a matter of government policy, and it is ridiculous to think you only get it if you roll the right numbers, like Lotto. The sad part is that our so called city leaders can be so juvenile as to believe that by spending $60,000 of rate payers treasure that they can hasten the coming of it to Dunedin. Chair Staynes is a self acknowledged wine connoisseur, methinks he might have been on an assessment exercise when he swallowed this one.

  38. ### dunedintv.co.nz February 13, 2014 – 6:40pm
    Dunedin drops to 11th place in Gigatown competition
    Dunedin has dropped to 11th place on the Gigatown points table, as the DCC Economic Development Committee prepares to discuss the city’s response. Gigatown is an on-line competition organised by infrastructure provider Chorus, with the winner receiving the fastest broadband speeds in the southern hemisphere. The council has provided $60,000 to part-fund a co-ordinator to run the city’s Gigatown campaign. A report to a Monday committee meeting says community sign‐ups are still low, though initiatives are in place to change that, including an agreement with the Star newspaper to promote the campaign. Dunedin has about 182,000 points – Wanaka leads with more than 880,000 points.
    Ch39 Link [no video available]

  39. Anonymous

    If I was charged with delivering unique benefits to Dunedin via the Digital Strategy, why would I be doing the same thing in Canterbury?


  40. People really believe this Gigatown rubbish. Meanwhile, ratepayers are forking out for co-ordinator Josh Jenkins’ $61,500 salary. And who the hell is the DCC Digital Office ? how much easy money are we paying the DO “general manager” Stuart Dillon-Roberts ???

    ### ODT Online Sat, 8 Mar 2014
    Dunedin rises in Gigatown
    By Debbie Porteous
    Dunedin moved from 11th to second place, behind Wanaka, on Thursday following a video competition on Instagram which was not subject to the competition’s usual population-adjusted points allocation.
    Read more

    • Competition details, including voting instructions,can be viewed here

  41. Anne Elliot

    I was at a workshop on organisations’ use of multimedia the other day, held at a council-owned facility. In my team was an employee of a council-owned facility. We wanted to upload to YouTube video clips we had taken as a workshop activity, but this couldn’t be done on my team member’s laptop, because he doesn’t have access to social media through the Council’s Internet provision. Extremely ironic given the whole Gigatown campaign emphasis.

    • That’s very funny, Anne!
      DCC has never fully accepted or anticipated the ‘open community’ — probably not helped by former leaders’ lack of savvy and the dire stranglehold of its IT provider — the same applies for Crown entities and government departments. I remember how many well paid council staff had to shout themselves iPads that were not supported by the ‘system’. Life goes on at council in something of a digital ditch.

      But not forgetting the staff like Trade Me.

  42. John P.Evans, concerned citizen

    One can hardly blame the council for shutting off access to social media, after the revelation that DCC staff had accessed Trademe 550,000 times in a year!

    If they let the staff have access to social media, staff numbers may have to triple or quadruple to enable the real work to be done, After all due to the chinese wall of the front reception area obtaining any information from DCC staff is already a 4 day rather than 4 hour exercise.

  43. Oh dear, our poor Digital Office. Absent at Christchurch and placed at the mercy of a DCC funding slash. A bauble sobs.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 8 Apr 2014
    Digital Office plea over funding decision
    By Chris Morris
    Dunedin’s Digital Office faces a ”very dark day” unless the Dunedin City Council reverses a decision to axe funding from its upcoming budget, councillors have been told. The warning came from Digital Office general manager Stuart Dillon-Roberts at yesterday’s economic development committee meeting. His comments followed an earlier decision by the council to remove a $60,000 grant from its draft budget for 2014-15, which was still subject to public consultation.
    Read more

  44. “Very dark day”! “”From Dunedin’s point of view, it would be a very dark day if we don’t get the funding,” said Stuart Dillon-Roberts, Digital Office general manager at yesterday’s economic development committee meeting.”
    So dark that he resides in Christchurch for personal reasons. He devotes one day a week to the office yet wants $100,000 a year for three years – to further the cause. At present, council has planned to remove a $60,000 grant previously given. The only ‘digital’ dark day I can envisage looks just like a forefinger pointing skyward. Stuart, go get a proper job.

  45. Anonymous

    read it as “From MY point of view…” and it makes more sense.
    Time for a new city slogan? What’s “beware of carpetbaggers” in Latin?

  46. Anonymous

    The zombies are mobilizing! There’s nothing like cutting off funding to prompt previously dormant characters to pop up on Twitter and start spouting off about their initiatives and “working with positive people”.

    If you are making an Annual Plan submission, please remember to mention that it is inappropriate for the DCC to be involved in funding this entity. You could mention governance issues, conflicts of interest, misuse of public funds (gigatown). Be sure to suggest that a “not for profit” entity could quite easily be that outside the DCC umbrella of CCOs.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      I propose that funding of up to $150.00 be reinstated in the upcoming budget along with rebranding as Digit In Orifice, with mission statement being (in Latin, you’re right Anonymous, it adds gravitas) Pull your finger out.
      That’s fair to all concerned, including ratepayers for a change – on a per capital basis it’s a cheap laugh.

  47. Elizabeth

    The council’s “Digital Office” that hosts the tripe gigatown-Chorus marketing campaign (run and followed by oicks) gets slammed….


  48. Elizabeth

    Watch the Digital Office’s grossly overpaid Josh Jenkins say NOTHING.

    ### dunedintv.co.nz September 18, 2014 – 5:44pm
    Dunedin enters next round of Gigatown competition
    The race is on to find out which town will become a leading digital innovation hub and the country’s first Gigatown. Dunedin has an opportunity to become more connected than ever before, as the competition reaches the final stage. And if one giga-bit internet speed is to be a reality then we all need to log on and get hash-tagging.

  49. Elizabeth

    Murray Kirkness says tomorrow’s ODT features Sue Bidrose telling us why Dunedin should back the #gigatown initiative.

    Sorry, I’m not into mass marketing muck, or Chorus.

  50. This whole #gigatown crap seems to me like a big hoax on the part of ‘Spark’ (stupid name).
    The advertising promotion costs to the ratepayer are just madness. Because Ian Taylor says jump, the DCC ‘erks’ say how high. Kirkness must love it, the full pages are absolutely over the top.
    If you think about it, the winner gets ‘first dibs’ at the high speed stuff. But if they think ‘Spark’ are going to stop at that they would nave to be nuts. The rollout will be all over eventually, with the “winner” just being first in the queue, if of course that suits Spark’s programme. Juvenile to think it would be any other way. Do you think Steven Joyce would settle for only Dunedin (assuming it wins) to be wired for high speed? Think about it.

    • Joe Ascroft

      Sigh. Chorus and spark have not been the same company for over 3 years. You might need a 1 Gig connection to bring you up to date :-)

  51. Elizabeth

    Sorry, Mr Taylor I’m a non believer in the Chorus elephant and local body hype artists. You supported the stadium too, for a while. And like I’d ever support Edgar in anything.

    ### ODT Online Sat, 25 Oct 2014
    Gigatown could spark ‘gold rush’
    Winning the Gigatown contest would start a new gold rush for Otago, Animated Research Ltd managing director Ian Taylor says. […] Mr Taylor turns 65 next year and is planning to retire to Wanaka. He admitted to the Otago Daily Times it would be ideal to have the fast data at Wanaka for his retirement but he believed the best place for the Gigatown was Dunedin. Otago businessman Sir Eion Edgar, who lives in Queenstown, has also thrown his support behind Dunedin winning.
    Read more

    • Anonymous

      It’s just a bloody big waste of public money and something the private sector should be funding, rather than this council spending other peoples’ money on promoting something everyone will eventually get anyway. This includes the blowhards the Oddity likes to blow hard about. Main street offices, staff, branding, marketing, big signage, small signage, painted cars, celebrity endorsements, braindead Mayoralty messages, and the advertising – glorious, glorious public funded advertising. Calvin, that advertising is little different to money laundering in this town. It’s just not narcotics being traded. I’m not certain who is getting the laugh out of this big joke but my guess the usual suspects are enjoying winding up their little toys and letting them go.

  52. Elizabeth

    ALL the Dunedin sheep who played the screwy Gigatown game by PC and smartphone are now responsible for J. Christie (formerly CoC) at DCC demanding $250,000 in new salaries for two kept mice to work on Gigatown promotions – that’s on top of his sordidly expensive salary as ‘Director’ of Enterprise Dunedin which is said to be at the same level as Group Manager. Altogether then, Mr Christie is costing us an arm and a leg, WAY TOO MUCH for little possible return. If you remember, CoC is hardly at the cutting edge of business and innovation, and has a divided membership. Things won’t get any better at DCC for put-upon ratepayers; but things are on the up, personally $$$$$$, for JC-superstar.

    █ The Star (via ODT) 25.1.15 Gigabit speed a month away
    Dunedin residents should be able to access the fastest internet speeds in the country next month, following the city being announced winner of the Gigatown Competition last year. According to a report presented to the Dunedin City Council by the Digital Community Trust, Chorus plans to launch its Gig Services in Dunedin on February 25. On that date, the gigabit speed internet will be made available to internet service providers. The trust had four ”big plans” that it was working on to get started before June 2016.

    █ ODT 23.1.15 $250,000 request for Gigatown project
    Dunedin city councillors will be asked this week to provide $250,000, including funding for two full-time equivalent jobs, to make sure the city makes the most of its Gigatown win. The council’s economic development and city marketing arm, Enterprise Dunedin, has argued the city needs to continue its commitment to the city’s digital future.” To do nothing is probably not a good option,” director John Christie said yesterday.

  53. We have been repeatedly told that there are businesses queuing up to invest in Dunedin once we have Gigabit Internet. Why does more ratepayers money need to be spent?
    Dunedin needs profitable businesses, not more wasteful DCC spending.

  54. Calvin Oaten

    We were also told by Peter Brown that there was virtually a convoy of businesses queuing to take up the new industrial sites adjacent to Fisher & Paykel Ltd on the Taieri. At one stage they were so close that he could smell them. Where is F&P now? Last I heard it was in Mexico. The number of businesses from out of town now on the estate? ‘Zero.’ Don’t be surprised when it is seen in a year or two despite John Christie’s endeavours that there are only those which would have set up under their own steam. Not every one needs or would afford ‘Gigabit’ UFB internet.

    • Sally

      Calvin. John Christie was the Chamber’s big noise for the new Industrial sites opposite F&P, with all his bullshit to the hearing, ten years down the track and not one of their predictions for the new site has come to fruition.
      If one looks at the real reason why there was the big push for the new industrial site. It was to bring water over from Mt Grand to service the new Industrial area as Mosgiel had reached the maximum out of the bores. But all this industrial talk was really only a charade. The water that was brought over from Mt Grand enabled you know who to open up the residential development that Council had spent millions on providing stormwater for but no household water. But that was easy fixed, put in a bogus variation for a new industrial area, and bob’s your uncle, the water just happens to be brought over from Mt Grand right past you know who’s development. Just like this new pool proposal. It is being located close to the business area to attract more people to shop in the area. The location certainly has no advantages for the pool users.

  55. Anonymous

    Is one of the full-time positions still the guy who lives in Christchurch?

  56. Elizabeth

    Don’t tell me.

  57. Elizabeth

    Calvin Oaten, of Dunedin, is sceptical about the benefits and costs of Gigatown.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 27 Jan 2015
    Gigatown raises some important questions
    By Calvin Oaten
    OPINION The Gigatown project! We, the citizens have been assailed by the hugely promoted opportunity to be the first city/area, to be fitted out with the technological marvel of the age, ultra-fast broadband, or UFB. Furthermore, we have won that opportunity. […] The fact Dunedin is only 40% reticulated with fibreoptic cable means that it could be years before the population at large gets a look in. […] Why is it that the ratepayers need to foot the costs of the requested $250,000pa to run a “Digital Office” other than it being seen as “jobs for the boys”?
    Read more

  58. Elizabeth

    Can’t tolerate another rant from Ian Taylor on frigging gigatown, but here it is. Happy reading.

    OPINION It’s our highway to the world
    Dunedin needs to take what it has won with Gigatown and own it, writes IanTaylor. http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/opinion/331858/its-our-highway-world

  59. Tom

    Ian Taylor must have lived in the rural area in the 8Os when S.M.P. and other subsidies were rife. Now living in the city where the word subsidy has been replaced by the word “Ratepayer”, he appears to have learnt off his rugby mates, who quickly discovered that the word subsidy was spelt with a capital R.

  60. Elizabeth

    Comment at ODT Online:

    Submitted by MikeStk on Tue, 03/02/2015 – 4:14pm.
    First let’s correct some inaccuracies – Tauranga, Hamilton, Whanganui have had gigabit internet for more than 6 months now – Dunedin will not be “the first gigabit city in Australasia” without the invention of time travel. It’s simply hype. Likely, like those cities, we would have it now if only we had competition in the broadband market rather than one company owning both copper and fibre. Sadly we have a government that prefers monopolies over competition.
    Read more

    • Mike

      I made this comment because I think this rah-rah stuff is great for people like Ian – who already had access to gigabit fibre in the CBD if he wanted to pay for it – but there are a lot of people who work in Dunedin many of who live here for “lifestyle reasons” (ie it’s a nice place to live) but work on line from their homes (I know a dozen or more) but don’t have any access to fibre and no near term prospect of seeing it – Chorus is pretty much impossible to deal with, they honestly don’t want to know – call them and they’ll refuse to put you through.

      Now obviously there’s a bunch of people like Ian who know the right people, and are plugged into this process – but “I’ve got mine” is not really something to crow about, it just pisses off those who don’t.

      I understand that installing fibre takes time, someone has to get it first – doing the student quarter first, and now spending the gigatown money to infill it with student wifi everywhere makes little sense to me – students can’t afford the fibre hook up – I asked a Chorus guy (really a contractor, they fired all their local people and rehired them as contractors, all those Chorus vans are not being driven by employees) recently about installation in my neighbourhood, he just laughed.

      I look forward to the gigatown people and Chorus holding a public meeting about how to speed up installation – the gigatown people claim they are going to do this we’ll see if it really happens

      • Joe Ascroft

        Hey Mike, do some fact checking learning how the system works before posting stuff like this… A) Any questions about fibre Must go to who you order your services from. Chorus wholesales the services. Your ISP sells and arranges the service. B) chorus did not fire us. We are employed / contractors of service companies, we do not work for Chorus. “– students can’t afford the fibre hook up –” its FREE, and cost is the same as ADSL. Want to know why you are not getting fibre installed at your address yet: http://www.crownfibre.govt.nz/ufb-initiative/frequently-asked-questions/ That, and I’m sure Chorus is watching posts like this and redoing their network roll-out to stop people like you from getting fibre.

        • Mike

          Joe: my ISP simply tells me that I have to wait until Chorus gets around to my neighbourhood, they won’t go and lobby on my behalf to get fibre installed in my street. I can’t choose a different ISP that will install fibre any sooner – suggesting I “talk to my ISP” is a disingenuous platitude because of course it’s Chorus who decides who gets fibre and when – and Chorus is busy spending its money on flashy ads in Times Square and gigatown sideshows to pimp its stock price (why else would they advertise? it’s not like anyone has a choice about doing business with them), rather than spending that money on fibre installations.

          The real problem with Chorus’s point of view is of course that as a government sanctioned monopoly they see me as a product they can sell to ISPs, not as a customer – there is no customer service from my point of view – my VDSL sucks when it rains hard, because it’s on old street wires with crappy insulation – they don’t seem to care.

          If they really are vindictively using their monopoly power to refuse to install fibre in people’s neighbourhoods we need to have a little talk with the monopolies commission …..

        • Calvin Oaten

          OK Joe, as an insider, can/will you answer the following questions to a humble layperson?

          1. Will Dunedin be getting a Gbit/s (1,000,000,000 bits) or a 1GB/s (8,000,000,000 bits) service? The promotion is somewhat unclear on this point.

          2. As I believe my DSL/ Wi-Fi modem currently has a capacity of some 24Mbit/s (1,000,000 bits) when can I expect to have access to fibre and 1 Gbits/s? My suburb is Pine Hill.

          3. My current service (including telephone) costs me $75 per month. Can you inform me of a ballpark figure for an upgrade?

          4. In what way would the average household benefit from having 1Gbit/s installed?

          Joe, I am sure many of the great unwashed like me, would dearly love to know the answers to these points. As a ratepayer who is funding the DCC’s input here, we need to know what value is in it for us, or is it just a form of subsidy to business?

        • Elizabeth

          Joe appears to be a student at UoO according to LinkedIn.

        • James


          1. It’s definitely gigabit & not gigabyte. So 1,000,000,000 bits per second

          2a. You currently do not have 24Mbps, unless you live in the telephone exchange, or in a roadside cabinet with fibre (as opposed to roadside cabinet that is merely a junction box). (V)DSL speed decays exponentially over the copper wire, so your actual speeds are likely to be somewhere between 4.5-18 Mbs. You can find out exactly how fast here http://www.speedtest.net/
          2b) Pine Hill is not slated to get fibre until 2018, after which the gigatown prices will have expired!

          3. You’d have to move house, so that would be quite expensive. You would then be moving from $75 to somewhere in the $85-$100 per month range.

          4. It’s not really clear what the average household would gain. If you skype/video-conference or remotely connect to work computers, then it will be great for that, but the consensus is that lots of people will need to have gigabit internet before the advantages become apparent
          However, if a household is currently quite far from the telephone exchange, and so even with a “24Mbps” modem are only getting 1Mbps, then the lack of speed decay with fibre will mean that you actually have a fast connection. So (gigabit) fibre will at a bare minimum catch them up to others.

        • Mike

          I agree mostly with James’s assessment – with a few minor nits – it’s how far you are from your local box (not the exchange) that determines your speed – VDSL can do 40Mb/s if you are really lucky (I get more like 20).

          I don’t think skype is a ‘killer app’ – it’s so insecure I’ve removed it from every box I use (thank you Mr Snowden) – for most residential users TV is probably what you’d use fibre (not so much gigabit fibre since normal fibre will be adequate). For commercial users like me the expanded upstream bandwidth is important, so is reduced latency (packet travel times), more downstream bandwidth is good but only 3rd on my list – number one is getting off of that sad ATM backbone.

          IMHO few people really need gigabit fibre, Ian’s company is one, mine is too to a lesser extent – there are days I sit on my hands for hours, but as I keep trying to point out reliable available non-gigabit fibre is very much preferable to unobtainable gigabit fibre.

        • Diane Yeldon

          I tried to find out what was going on re the DCC’s long involvement in the topic of having a wonderfully well-equipped ‘digital city’. But it initially seemed to me to be set up in the familiar, old ‘private trust funded by the council’ totally OPAQUE structure. So I drew a blank. I note that Dave Cull was heavily involved in this project way back when he was just a councillor. And public attention was very much on the stadium question in those days so the ‘digital office’ project seemed to be slipping under the radar. Being familiar with the usual local government ‘magic show’, I always want to know what the left hand is doing while the public’s attention is being drawn away to the right hand. But all I did find out were claims that some worthy and charitable deeds were done, like making some computers available for some schools. But this, too, may have been a decoy, the pretty tip of an ugly iceberg, with the worst case (and very familiar) scenario being the ‘private (or very targeted benefit) at public expense’ one, often involving conflicts of interest on the part of the decision makers.
          I am just wildly guessing here but I wonder if Dunedin ratepayers were/are somehow involved in subsidising some free internet access for both students and tourists – as a ‘feature’ of the city, to supposedly make it ‘good for business’.

  61. Anonymous

    All is not well in Gigatown, a little bird tells me.

    • Calvin Oaten

      This old bird has had his feathers (what’s left) ruffled by our Mr Taylor, so on Monday I went to take up his offer, only be told he was in Arrowtown, but would be back in his office on Monday next. So I’ll report on how many feathers I have left afterwards.

      {Link to the vainglorious pitch of Mr Taylor, Esq. in which he runs Calvin Oaten off the road into a ditch – or so he thinks !! http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/opinion/331858/its-our-highway-world -Eds}

  62. Calvin Oaten

    James and Mike, thank you both for that information. So, while my modem is reputedly capable of handling up to 24Mbps, but only on a very good day with a following wind, or only if it is fed with that capacity. Right?
    So essentially what I said in my opinion piece is correct, and Ian Taylor really just wanted to give me a public spanking. Would that be correct?

    • Mike

      Calvin: it depends on lots of things – try James’s speedtest link – I get ~22M down and ~8 up on my (crappy) VDSL – which is better than my older, more reliable ADSL which was about half that.

      Ian’s saying “yes there are people who can use this stuff” and he’s right, he’s one of the few people in town who do need that much daily for their work – the Natural History people are another – I do occasionally.

      I’d bet that 95% of the people in Dunedin who move more than a gigabyte a day are downloading movies and 80% of them are illegal in some way.

      I actually don’t mind the state is helping to pay (sort of) for nationwide broadband infrastructure, the capital cost of it is always going to be hard to fund, in much the same way that I think that building and maintaining roads, ports and railways are important to our country’s economic infrastructure – but I don’t like that National essentially gave most of it to Chorus perpetuating their monopoly, they should have created competitive markets everywhere they used our tax money to contribute to the fibre build out. Rather than the competitive free market that National is always preaching we’ve gotten more perks for their political mates – I kind of think of them as the tartan mafia writ large.

      Fluffing about with silly marketing games, costing our broke indebted city council hundreds of thousands of dollars, to basically pimp their stock price seems to me to be exploitative and irresponsible.

      • Calvin Oaten

        Mike: thanks for that lucid explanation of the general position. It is like I thought, ‘horses for courses’, with those who need it being heavily outweighed by those who would like it, and those in no need of it.
        Enter our ‘intrepid’ council, easily seduced by a clever, high powered Chorus publicity campaign, aided and abetted by those who need it. The result is that under the shroud of ignorance, the citizens were prevailed upon to support the campaign to supposedly “win” the right to be the first centre in NZ reticulated and fitted out as a “Gigabit” service area. But then, as you say, Tauranga, Hamilton, Wanganui have been up and running for 6 months while Dunedin is only 40% reticulated with the necessary fibre. Even Oamaru is reticulated and ready, only needing the ISP technology to be installed. That it is the Central Government’s policy to have NZ reticulated through time only reinforces the idea that we are being conned.
        Well done Ian.

  63. Elizabeth

    ### dunedintv.co.nz February 25, 2015 – 7:25pm
    Ultra-fast broadband celebrated with special launch ceremony
    The fastest broadband speeds in the southern hemisphere are now officially available in Dunedin. And that’s been celebrated with a special gigatown launch ceremony. But with less than half of the planned infrastructure installed, the city’s internet revolution has only just begun.


    Dunedin City Council – Media Release
    Gigatown Phase Two Switches On

    This item was published on 25 Feb 2015

    Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull is welcoming the beginning of Dunedin’s transformation to a fully functioning Gigatown, with 1Gbps broadband speeds being made available by Chorus this morning. Already there is strong demand with hundreds of businesses and residents lined up to switch over to the faster speeds.
    Representatives from Chorus, the Dunedin City Council (DCC), the Digital Office, the Digital Community Trust, ISP providers and about 60 invited guests will celebrate the official switch on at a ceremony in the Dunedin Centre at 9.30am.
    Mr Cull says having won the Gigatown competition, the city now needs to make full use of the benefits gigaspeed broadband offers to Dunedin’s communities, businesses, educational institutions and its residents in general.

    “The DCC has put a budget of $250,000 for implementing Gigatown into its draft Long Term Plan, to provide support for the Trust to co-ordinate and lead the work that is needed. It was a combined community effort that won us Gigatown and it will be off the back of that community engagement and excitement that we will continue to work on our goal of making Dunedin one of the world’s great small cities.”

    Making Dunedin a fully operational Gigatown has involved developing a plan of implementation in partnership with Chorus and the Trust. Mr Cull says after celebrating Dunedin’s win, and with Christmas and New Year now behind us, it is time to get the real party started in terms of delivering the city plan.

    “The switch on is the first part of a scheduled programme of work ahead of us. We will be opening a Gigatown HQ in the next few months and then working with the community to ensure the plan adapts to the needs of the whole community.”

    The first four projects of the plan are engaging the community, increasing connectivity, growing Dunedin’s economy by creating high value jobs and providing city-wide wifi access to Gig internet for students and the education sector. But Mr Cull says there is much more work planned ahead.

    “Winning Gigatown adds another fibre to Council’s economic development and community development strategies! That is very important for those strategies as it will help the greater Dunedin community to deal with the tyranny of distance. It will allow our people to do business and to conduct their affairs with the world as if they were right next door.”

    Contact Dave Cull, Mayor of Dunedin on 027 434 6917.
    DCC Link

  64. Calvin Oaten

    “With only half the planned infrastructure installed, the city’s internet revolution has only just begun.” So why, and who paid for the full page advert in today’s ODT? Who else but the ratepayers? As I and many others in other than inner city locations don’t expect it to be available before 2018 or later it seems pointless , unless it is just an “ego boosting” exercise and job justification within John Christies’ new domain.

  65. Anonymous

    “I love it, my family love it… all for the same price as broadband.”

    At least the “Gigatown” marketing achieves a jolly good laugh from time to time.

  66. Elizabeth

    Broadband speed rankings —what does this really mean for Dunedin people ?

    The slow speed of the Chorus ultra-fast broadband roll-out and patchiness of coverage meant gigabit speeds were not achievable across the city. –Stewart Fleming

    ### ODT Online Mon, 27 Apr 2015
    Dunedin tops broadband speed rankings
    By Dene Mackenzie
    Dunedin is being ranked as a ”real broadband powerhouse” since winning the Gigatown competition last year, according to figures provided to the Otago Daily Times. […] Chief executive of Dunedin internet service provider Wicked Networks Stewart Fleming said it was evident there had been significant improvements in average speeds in Dunedin and they could be primarily attributed to the launch of Gigatown. While the average headline speed had gone up, it only applied to the 500 or so Gigatown connections on UFB – not the far larger number of existing lower-speed broadband connections.
    Read more

    • Calvin Oaten

      Whoopee! Dunedin is now top in Australasia at 75mbps. Christchurch follows at 37mbps, Wellington with 35mbps and little old Auckland just 25mbps. Well! how about that? Strange though, I have a bog standard Spark $79 per month connection with ‘Wi Fi’ as well. For no apparent reason a ‘techie’ friend measured my system performance yesterday and the download speed was an eye watering 6.0 – 6.2 mbps while the upload romped in at 0.9 -0.9 mbps. How about that? Thank you John Christie and Dave Cull.

  67. Anonymous

    Enterprise Dunedin director John Christie conceded there had been initial teething problems with issues around connectivity “and that’s a priority for us”.

    There really is no “us” in deploying Gigatown. All that guy John Christie has to do is keep shouting “We won Gigatown! We won Gigatown!…” and, more importantly, put pressure on Chorus to do its job faster. And the ratepayers have been suckered into paying another $250,000 to beg a corporate to do its job faster.

    Because the real stuff – fibre cabling to enable faster Internet connectivity (not the “Gigatown” marketing) – can only be used after Chorus has deployed it.

    The only thing moving near the speed of light in this city are its councillors when voting to waste money on glory projects, going on junkets and persecuting colleagues who work in the best interests of Dunedin.

    ### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00, May 20 2015
    Game developer Dean Hall says New Zealand broadband in the ‘dark age’
    By Hamish McNeilly

  68. Calvin Oaten

    The ‘BIG’ winner here is ****** wait for it! ******* John Christie !! He gets the job and the $250,000 vote of play money, and Chorus get cream buns and doughnuts for morning and afternoon tea for one year as part of the joke. Ian gets the service, Dean gets the ‘picture’ and the punters get “diddley squat.”

  69. Elizabeth

    So is Mr Hall a bit naive or what? He like everyone else could have easily researched what wasn’t going on with Dunedin’s UFB roll out.
    The whole story doesn’t appear to be here or at Stuff. His grievance may be genuine but he comes across (yes I’m going to do it to the tall poppy) as very full of himself.


  70. Anonymous

    Wait a second. From October 2013, early on in the competition:

    “Animation Research already had the technology and special data-caps because it would not be able to operate out of Dunedin if it did not”

    and yet

    “The studio’s four full-time staff in Dunedin were using neighbour Animation Research Ltd’s connection, but that was not fast enough”

    We’ve been sold a crock of shit. Someone should go back and verify all the claims that were made by the campaign and city leadership against the reality now.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Anonymous, hush yo’ mouth!
      We in Dunedin don’t indulge in going back and comparing claims that were made … against reality now. We don’t, as Mayor Cull puts it, relitigate the past. Ever.
      Someone might be embarrassed.
      We wouldn’t want that, would we.

  71. Anonymous

    Elizabeth, it was an interesting position taken by both Stuff and ODT. Something slightly off about the production of that news.

    But one thing everyone is forgetting, intentionally for some, is that there is only one connection out of this country and everyone shares it. It might be a big pipe but it just got a hell of a lot busier with TV and movie on-demand uptake.

    Big business and corporations have varying levels of committed rate services but even they are a fraction of Gigabit. If you want to receive or send massive amounts of data beyond New Zealand, both the fluffy Gigatown campaign and reality of Gigabit performance are not going to get anywhere near the promised nirvana (marketing). It doesn’t matter how fast or big you are, you’re still sharing the same tunnel.

    That stupid spat between John Key and Kim Dotcom resulted in the loss of progress on a second international cable and the other parties considering it are still freaking out over the costs.

    Now the ISPs are running around chasing revenue from on-demand content when they know jolly well that the International connection can’t sustain growth without substantial investment in infrastructure. Don’t think it’s possible? What happened to your Internet connection during the America’s Cup (the previous one), World Rugby Cup and Olympics? Each of those resulted in significant slow down and time outs for customers right across the country, not least Dunedin. You might have even noticed during the last America’s Cup and Olympics that there was an absence of promotion for “watching it online” as they had so enthusiastically done previously.

    This is a farce and the ratepayer funds directed to it just another form of invoice fraud in this city or propping up the interests of a mate or two using other peoples’ money.

    What we will see in the near future is a reduction in Internet performance you have now and little difference in international throughput even with fibre to the home.

    The counter marketing and excuses have already started in the media. You might have read a little about it recently but not understood what it was the ISPs were trying to talk down.

    • Elizabeth

      Thanks Anonymous, helpful in giving context to the ‘state of the art’.

      Here’s some gloss as at 18 December 2014:

      Partners confirm plan to construct new trans-Tasman telecommunications cable starting early 2015 – http://www.sparknz.co.nz/news/tga/

      There are two existing cables connecting New Zealand, noted in press release, the “Southern Cross and Tasman” cables.

    • Mike

      I’m someone who needs that bandwidth, I’d sign up tomorrow if I could – but I’ve been sceptical about the whole Gigatown thing, like them buying out the Times Square billboards so they could shoot a feel-good ad I think Gigatown was all about Chorus trying to pimp their stock price, which had been flagging because they’d bitten off a bit more than they could chew when they took on the UFB rollout and their dividends were dropping.

      Remember there’s no real point in Chorus advertising, they have a monopoly, worse than that they don’t consider you or me as “customers”, they treat us more as the things that they are selling …. even though we’re the ones who indirectly pay every cent that they earn. That’s why when you call them up and try to talk about your connection they refuse to talk to you (try and go down to the Chorus office in Dunedin and talk to someone about your internet … there’s no such thing, all you can do is phone Wellington).

      Remember there was another attempt to build a Pacific cable (I don’t send a lot of packets to Oz, a Tasman cable is not a lot of use to me) – it was scuppered when the US refused landing rights because they had chosen Chinese infrastructure – that was pre the Snowden revelations, it’s now pretty obvious now that it likely happened because without US ‘blessed’ equipment the NSA wasn’t sure they would be able to hack the cable’s infrastructure (they tend to record at choke points in the ‘net, Hawaii is where they probably listen to us – we know Snowden was stationed there for some reason).

      On the other hand I think a 1st class internet infrastructure is important if we’re going to compete in the world, it’s especially important in Dunedin because we ARE so far away from everywhere else – just like roads it’s something that government should invest in – but they should have been smart and picked anyone but Chorus so that Chorus’s copper network would continue to directly compete with the new fibre provider to keep prices down and everyone on their toes – faster installs – and we would be treated as customers who have a choice and could choose the other guy.

      • Anonymous

        Ignoring the questionable promotion for Sky – the important points are that international throughput has limits and national congestion will rapidly worsen as broadband connections move from DSL to UFB. Some people will start to discover their flash new Gigatown thingy is little better than their previous one. On a lighter side, saw a real estate advertisement for a new house the other day that included “a Gigatown connection in every room”. Something for the DCC COC to get excited about.

        The congestion has become marked since April, following a rise in the popularity of online television services, such as Spark’s Lightbox, Sky’s Neon and Netflix. Broadband use is also increasing as a result of more aggressive marketing and pricing of uncapped internet plans by internet providers.

        ### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 12:32, June 18 2015
        Broadband congestion reason to stick with Sky TV: Forsyth Barr
        By Tom Pullar-Strecker

  72. Anonymous

    Dunedin and Gigatown get a mention in the following Stuffed bit:

  73. Elizabeth

    ODT: NZ broadband ‘doing ok’ (via NZ Herald)
    New Zealand’s internet speeds are in the middle of the pack, but could benefit from a greater uptake of the ultra fast-broadband (UFB) initiative, an industry commentator says. Telecommunications Users’ Association of NZ (TUANZ) chief executive Craig Young said New Zealand was “doing ok” on the world stage.

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