Spark has announced availability of its Spark Jump subsidised wireless broadband service in Waitaki in partnership with digital inclusion charity 20/20 Trust.
Spark Jump, announced last September, is a Spark initiative that offers families with school-aged children and unable to afford a commercial broadband service a 30GB ‘no-frills’ broadband service for $15 per month, about 25 percent the price of the cheapest commercial services available. It is based on the Skinny Broadband offering, launched in January 2016 by Spark’s Skinny brand.
Waitaki District Libraries will help families set up their internet connections as part of 20/20 Trust's Stepping Up programme that works with libraries and community centres to promote digital literacy.
At the time of the 2013 census there were 62,000 households with school-aged children that said they did not have home broadband (or did not specify whether they had broadband).
Spark said at the launch that it hoped to make Spark Jump available to at least 5,000 families over the 12 months to September 2017 and was looking to collaborate with government agencies and community groups to scale to higher volumes.
Since then 20/20 Trust as made the service available in several parts of the country, and has announced these on its web site. Today’s announcement from Spark marks Spark’s first statement on progress since launch. Spark said it was working with 19 local partners from Kaitaia in the Far North to Winton in Southland to rollout Spark Jump services. However it did not say how many homes had been connected under the initiative.
It said also that its charitable arm, Spark Foundation, had 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.