Spark Foundation and 20/20 Trust announce the availability of affordable broadband to families in the Horowhenua and the West Coast’s Grey District, enabling students to keep up with the digital skills necessary for today.
How affordable Spark Jump supports home learning
As classroom learning goes digital, students without broadband at home are at risk of being left behind. Access to the internet is critical to get our children better placed to do amazing things in school and later in life but for some families home broadband is not affordable; Spark Jump enables more children to go online outside of classroom hours and will help more children in our community thrive.
Who is eligible for Spark Jump?
Families with children up to the age of 18 and no current broadband connection are eligible for the programme, if there is local access to the 4G network.
A participating family member must attend a 2-hour Spark Jump workshop to learn about the programme including how to top-up, sign a ‘kawa of care’, and set up their loan modem ready to just plug in to power at their home.
They will receive a modem and a wireless broadband connection and pay $10 for 30GB over 30 days with no fixed term contract. As a pre-pay service, the modem can be topped up at any time in the same way as pre-pay mobile phones.
Libraries to offer Spark Jump workshops
Levin, Foxton and Shannon libraries will run Spark Jump workshops in the Horowhenua, to help families set up and manage their Spark Jump internet connections.
In the Grey District, the District Library will help families.
Interested families should contact their local library (see contact details below) to find out when Spark Jump sessions are being held.
Spark Foundation partners with community-based organisations like 20/20 Trust to deliver wireless broadband to families without internet. The Trust is active in communities around the country and works with local partners to select families for the programme, based on the eligibility criteria set by the Spark Foundation and the intent to support education.
There are now over 50 organisations and partners supporting Spark Jump.
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 more homes on the west coast of both islands turn into digital learning environments, to enable students to thrive in the digital world,” says Lynne.
More information on Spark Jump
Wendy Fraser, Library Services Manager, Libraries Horowhenua
06 368 1953
Liz Burke, Manager Library & Museum Services, Grey District Council
027 403 1796
Sera Jeong, Marketing & Communications Adviser, Spark Foundation
021 0277 0597
Laurence Zwimpfer, National Operations & Development Manager, 20/20 Trust
04 27 430 6737
Notes to the editor:
- According to the 2013 NZ Census, there were 62,000 New Zealand households with school-aged children which said they did not have home broadband (or which did not specify whether they had broadband).
- Spark Foundation has partnered with several organisations working in local communities around New Zealand including 20/20 Trust, Web Access Waikato Trust in Hamilton, 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 provided with a loan modem to use at no cost, with the support from technology partner Huawei.
- Families with children up to the age of 18 who do not currently have a broadband connection at home and have suitable 4G coverage are eligible for the programme.
- A participating family member must attend a 2-hour Spark Jump workshop to learn about the programme including how to top-up, sign a ‘kawa of care’, and set up their loan modem ready to just plug in to power at their home.