Spark Jump FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Here you’ll find answers to most questions asked about Spark Jump. Scroll down to browse.

Who is Spark Jump for?

Spark Jump is designed for families in low-income communities with one or more school-age children who don’t have a current fixed broadband connection at home. It is great for families who

  • know that home internet access is important to their child’s education and can really lift their academic achievement
  • do not want to pay fixed monthly internet charges but can usually manage $10
  • want the flexibility of pre-pay that you can renew or not when you wish
  • have children under 18 in their care
  • don’t want to be tied to a contract
  • don’t want the cost and complication of fibre broadband connection
  • may have a poor credit record

It’s great for your children’s education and also good for accessing health, government, shopping and job sites, and so can increase your employability, financial and general well-being.  It’s easy to keep an eye on how many GigaBytes you’ve used, so you don’t run out unexpectedly.

Can I get Spark Jump?

Spark Jump is not available for everyone, and it is not available through the Spark Foundation or for purchase at Spark stores.  Spark Foundation works with local community-based organisations who identify and refer eligible families.  You and your family are eligible if ALL these apply:

  • you are a carer for children (up to age 18)
  • your household does not have a broadband connection. (Internet connection on a mobile phone doesn’t count.)
  • your home is in Spark Jump 4G or 4G 700 coverage – easy to check at www.spark.co.nz/coverage

What is covered in the set-up workshop?

If you meet these conditions,  register for a free, 2 hour Spark Jump modem set-up workshop at your local Spark Jump provider – see map in side bar for locations.  (You can zoom in and click on the icons for full details.)

If there is no workshop shown in your locality, contact your  local Spark Jump provider – see ‘Spark Jump Partner’ map in side bar for locations. (Contact us if there is no provider near you – we are expanding to new areas.)

At the workshop a tutor will take you step-by-step through :

You will walk out with a working, tested internet modem and connection you can just plug in and use in your home with your tablet, computer or smart phones!

If you have a digital device (smartphone, tablet, Chromebook or laptop computer), please bring this with you to the workshop so that the tutor can help you set up the wifi connection to your Spark Jump modem.

When you get home run the Spark Jump speed test and when you send us the results, we’ll send you  a free $10 Spark Jump voucher for your first top-up!

What happens if it stops working or I hit a problem?

Usually this means that your pre-pay has run out.  You can easily check your balance online – you’ll try this in the workshop. Just buy a $10 Skinny top-up vouchers at one of the thousands of retailers – supermarkets, dairies, computer stores, petrol stations.

If it’s not that, just bring your Skinny modem and digital device back to the library or centre where you had your workshop and they’ll sort it out. Or contact the helpful support team on 0800 4 SKINNY.

What happens when I run out of data?  You top-up with another $10 / 30 GB/ 30-day voucher, from any of thousands of Skinny outlets.

What if I can’t afford to top up? If there’s no room in the budget for a top-up – or if you ran through the 30 GB faster than expected – there are no penalties because it’s prepay. If you don’t top it up or use it, nothing happens. Just top-up when you can next afford it and want it.

Is 30 GB/30-days enough for education? Yes, it should be enough for education, internet browsing, emails, and staying in touch.

What if we keep running out of data early? It’s a connection option for internet for education  – it is not suitable for entertainment, with downloading large files like movies, streaming audio and video. For that you need fixed line DSL or UFB or other services that offer ‘on account’ packages of unlimited data or around 100 GB/month, the amount the average New Zealand household now uses.

What happens to unused data? Any of the 30 GB of data that is unused will expire 30 days after the voucher was applied to the modem account, so don’t load more data than you are sure you will use in 30 days. After 30 days you will need to top up with another $10 30 GB/3-day voucher.

How can I see how much data we’ve used?  Login in to your Spark account and check the data balance. This will be covered in the Spark Jump workshop.

What if it stops working or I hit a problem? Usually this means that your pre-pay has run out.  You can easily check your balance online – you’ll try this in the workshop. Just buy a $10 Skinny top-up voucher at one of the thousands of retailers – supermarkets, dairies, computer stores, petrol stations.

If it’s not that, just bring your Skinny modem and digital device back to the library or centre where you had your workshop and they’ll sort it out. Or contact the helpful support team on 0800 4 SKINNY.

Can we use Spark Jump for a short period? Spark Jump is a good temporary solution for qualifying families who have a long wait for a landline or UFB connection. It uses the 4G and 4G 700 wireless network, can be set up in 10 minutes, there’s no ongoing contract, and the modem is available on free loan. When you no longer need Spark Jump – for example, when you have a landline/UFB connected – you will need to return the loan Spark Jump modem and Sim card.  (Please keep the original packaging to return it in.)

What if my home is not in a Spark Jump coverage area? Sorry, we can’t help until Spark Jump coverage is increased to your area. There may be other options in your area, like community WiFi.

What if we move to another address? Your Spark Jump modem is registered for use at a single location, so if you move contact the helpful support team on 0800 4 SKINNY and let them know what you want to change you address (or if you want to change something else).

Is it a handout? No, it is a low cost, low data usage option, suitable for education and general access, not for high-bandwidth entertainment. 20/20 says “It’s about working together to help families understand the benefit to the child’s education and how giving them internet access to support their education at home can really lift their academic achievement. And having lifted that, it can increase their employability and financial well-being.”

What is the connection between Spark Jump and Stepping UP? They are separate initiatives, but many of our Stepping UP partners want to support Spark Jump locally by holding Spark Jump workshops (bookable through the Stepping UP booking system) and so it made sense to include make the workshops a Stepping UP training module.