According to 2018 census data from Statistics New Zealand, 211,000 homes around the country still don’t have access to broadband. Research from Internet NZ indicates that cost is the biggest barrier to this access. With the fast-developing COVID-19 situation, this issue is more pronounced than ever.
Prior to the onset of the pandemic, Spark was in the process of relaunching our subsidised and not-for-profit broadband product Skinny Jump – which aims to bridge the digital divide for New Zealanders who don’t have access to broadband at home.
Since we first launched the service in 2016 we have connected close to 5,000 families with school-aged children to broadband.
The Skinny Jump service is available through a community partner network, which is overseen by Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa (DIAA) and includes 130 contact points nationwide spanning community libraries and budgeting services, amongst others.
Skinny Jump will now be available to a wider range of people who find that cost is a barrier to having a broadband connection at home – including families with school aged children, job seekers, senior citizens, refugees, new migrants, people with disabilities and people living in social housing.
The service is provided for $5 for 30GB of data (with the option to renew up to five times a month) and comes with a free Wireless Broadband modem. It is entirely prepaid, so there are no long-term contracts or credit checks needed.
All it takes to get set up is to register through a partner and plug in the modem. Note, many local Jump partners have closed temporarily. But some are now working on a phone based sign-up approach and these details have been updated on the Skinny Jump website. If you currently do not have a broadband connection at home, please visit the website at skinny.co.nz/jump to check your address and find the details of your nearest local partner to get set up.