Spark New Zealand and Ciena have announced that they will continue to offer free broadband throughout 2023 to digitally excluded students across Aotearoa (New Zealand). However, the cost of living continues to increase, or unexpected events can occur, which can mean trouble for students to attend school physically. So, both companies, in their combined efforts, will offer the subsidised broadband product, Jump for Students.
Skinny Jump from Spark
Introduced in 2016, Skinny Jump is a not-for-profit, subsidised broadband product from Spark for anyone who can't afford a broadband connection at home. First introduced for households with school-aged children and then extended to include anyone who finds that cost is a barrier to having an internet connection at home after the Covid-19 lockdown. Skinny Jump provides 35 GB of data for just $ 5, with the first 15 GB of data each month free. After that, customers can purchase up to six top-ups a month, which means customers can access 225 GB for $ 30 a month.
No Contracts or Credit Checks
No contracts or credit checks are required to access the service, and Skinny Jump comes with a free wireless broadband modem preloaded with 35 GB of data. Jump is available via a network of around 300 community partners across Aotearoa, including local libraries and community centres.
Spark says, "Our subsidised broadband product, Skinny Jump, provides over 23,000 homes across Aotearoa with low-cost wireless broadband from just $ 5 a month, but thanks to our partner, Ciena, we have been able to provide Skinny Jump free to eligible students since 2021."
Ciena Jump for Students Fund
Eligible students who face cost-barrier challenges in having an internet connection at home can benefit from the Ciena Jump for Students Fund.
According to Ciena, "Ciena Jump for Students fund is one of the first projects that Ciena committed to fund as part of our Digital Inclusion social impact programme. To see it being continued, together with our customer Spark, is definitely a breakthrough in our goals to help bridge the digital divide."
"Although providing free access isn't a silver bullet that will fix the issue of digital inequity on its own, a solution like the 'Ciena Jump for Students Fund' that addresses affordability is a good place to start," the joint statement reads.