Spark extends learning scheme to close digital divide - Mobile World Live

Spark extends learning scheme to close digital divide

11 FEB 2019

Spark New Zealand, the second largest mobile operator in the country, added a new community partner to help increase the reach of a digital initiative aimed at giving affordable wireless broadband access to schoolchildren at home.

Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa and Spark Foundation partnered to roll out the JUMP programme, designed to bring subsidised home broadband to thousands of children. The new partnership with New Plymouth District Libraries aims to expand in the Taranaki region, by identifying and referring more families eligible for the programme through its work at a number of local libraries.

Spark said in a statement JUMP is a flexible prepaid scheme for selected families, offering a free modem with 30GB of data which connects to 4G infrastructure. Top ups are subsidised, costing NZD10 ($6.77) for 30GB.

The operator said JUMP is an affordable option for families who may otherwise been priced out of the market for traditional broadband.

Wireless broadband currently covers over 90 per cent of New Zealand.

The operator cited 2013 census figures showing more than 80,000 households with children aged up to 17 years of age, which said they did not have home broadband (or did not specify whether they had broadband).

Lead for Spark Foundation Kate Thomas said: “We’re delighted New Plymouth District Libraries have joined the JUMP programme to help get more New Zealanders connected and participating in the modern digital era. JUMP is a not-for-profit programme and community partners are critical to its success. We look forward to getting lots more Taranaki homes connected and learning.”

Laurence Zwimpfer, chairperson of the Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa, said it appreciates the support of library staff in New Plymouth in helping local families get connected.

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Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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