Subsidised broadband Spark Jump bridges Digital Divide in Massey

Spark Foundation logoPress release 9 May 2017

Today Spark and 20/20 Trust has announced that subsidised broadband is now available in Massey through Colwill Community Hub so more students can keep up with the digital skills necessary for today.

Spark Jump helps school children get on the right side of the divide

As classroom learning goes digital, students without broadband at home are at risk of being left behind. Spark Jump enables more school-aged children to go online outside of classroom hours and get on the right side of the digital divide. Families with school-aged children and no current broadband connection are eligible for the programme. They will receive a modem and a wireless broadband connection and pay $15 for 30GB with no fixed term contract.

Spark Foundation works with community-based organisations like the 20/20 Trust to deliver wireless broadband to families without internet. 20/20 Trust is active in communities around the country and selects families for the programme based on the eligibility criteria set by the Spark Foundation and the intent to support education.

Colwill Schools’s Community Hub plays key role

In Massey Colwill School’s learning centre, the Colwill Community Hub, will help families set up and manage their internet connections as part of 20/20 Trust’s digital literacy programmes. Interested families should contact the hub to find out when the next Spark Jump session is being held.

Nicola Adam, coordinator of the Colwill Community Hub, says Spark Jump will help close the skills gap between families who can afford home broadband and those who can’t.

“Access to the internet is critical in getting all our children better placed to succeed in school and later in life. We know that one of the challenges of getting home broadband is affordability and Spark Jump will help more families in Massey open the door to the digital world for their children,” says Nicola.

Spark Foundation welcomes new area

General Manager of Spark Foundation Lynne Le Gros is pleased the partnership with 20/20 Trust is expanding the reach of Spark Jump to reach more families at risk of being digitally excluded.

“We’re pleased to serve communities around the country with a truly useful product like subsidised broadband. We’re excited to see Spark Jump turn more homes in Massey into digital learning environments and enable more students to thrive in the digital world,” says Ms. Le Gros.

Check availability in your area

You can check if there is a Spark Jump partner in your area by visiting the 20/20 Trust Spark Jump page, or by checking the 20/20 Digital Inclusion map.

Notes to the editor:

  • According to the 2013 NZ Census, there were 62,000 households with school-aged children which said they did not have home broadband (or which did not specify whether they had broadband).
  • 20/20 Trust has been one of the first partners to come on board Spark Jump and is now working with 19 local partners from Kaitaia in the Far North to Winton in Southland.
  • Spark Foundation has partnered with several other organisations working in a number of local communities around New Zealand including The Greater Christchurch Schools Network, Web Access Waikato Trust, Nga Pumanawa e Waru in Rotorua, DIGITS in Palmerston North and a school cluster in Napier.
  • Spark Jump uses the Skinny Broadband platform and provides wireless home broadband via a 4G mobile signal connecting with the nearest cell tower. Families are gifted a modem to use with the support from technology partner Huawei.
  • Families with school-aged children who currently lack broadband at home and have a suitable 4G coverage where they live are eligible for the programme.

For more information please contact:

Sera Jeong
Marketing and Communications Advisor, Spark Foundation
+64 27 536 5192
Sera.Jeong@spark.co.nz

For high quality Spark New Zealand logos, photographs of the leadership team, and boilerplate to help with your story or event, visit sparknz.co.nz/news/downloads.

Laurence Millar
Chair, 20/20 Trust
+64 21 441 461
laurence.millar@2020.org.nz

For high quality 20/20 Trust logos, background to 20/20’s digital inclusion programmes, and boilerplate to help with your story or event, visit 2020.org.nz/media.