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Subsidised broadband Spark Jump bridges Digital Divide in Upper Hutt

Today Spark Foundation and 20/20 Trust have announced that Upper Hutt City Libraries is enabling more families to connect to subsidised broadband, enabling more students to keep up with the digital skills necessary for today.

 

Access to internet is increasingly critical for education, putting students who don't have broadband at home at risk of being left behind. Spark Jump enables more children to go online outside of classroom hours and get on the right side of the Digital Divide. Families with children up to the age
of 18 and no current broadband connection are eligible for the programme. They will receive a modem and a wireless broadband connection and pay $10 for 30GB 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.

 

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. 

 

In Upper Hutt, the Public Library will help families set up and manage their Spark Jump internet connections. Interested families in these areas should contact the Library to enquire when Spark Jump sessions are being held.

 

Wendy Horne, Digital Services and Training Coordinator at Upper Hutt City Libraries, says Spark Jump will help close the skills gap between families who can afford home broadband and those who can't. 

 

"We're passionate about empowering our community through education and it's
important to keep up with the skills necessary for today. 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. We know that Spark Jump will help more children in our community thrive," says Wendy.

 

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 in Upper Hutt turn into digital learning environments to better prepare students for the digital world," says Ms. Le Gros. 

 

The next Spark Jump sessions at Upper City Library will begin fortnightly on Wednesday 30th May at 3.30pm. Bookings are essential and can be made through on the library website (www.upperhuttlibrary.co.nz/spark-jump) or with a staff member.

 

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).   

 

Spark Foundation has partnered with several organisations working in local
communities around New Zealand including 20/20 Trust, Web Access Waikato
Trust, Nga Pumanawa e Waru in Rotorua and DIGITS in Palmerston North.

 

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 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. 

 

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).   

 

Spark Foundation has partnered with several organisations working in local communities around New Zealand including 20/20 Trust, Web Access Waikato Trust, Nga Pumanawa e Waru in Rotorua and DIGITS in Palmerston North.

 

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 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.  

 

Local contact:

Wendy Horne

Digital Services and Training Coordinator, Upper Hutt City Libraries

Wellington  

wendy.horne@uhcc.govt.nz

Chloe-Vaughan-100x100

Chloe Ferrand

Communications Advisor
+64 27 3593077 | chloe.ferrand@spark.co.nz

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