Spark Jump bridges Digital Divide in Whangarei

Today Spark and 20/20 Trust has announced that subsidised broadband is now available in Whangarei through local trust Taitokerau Education Trust and Whangarei Central Library so more students can keep up with the digital skills necessary for today. As classroom learning goes digital, students without broadband at home are at risk of being left behind. Spark Jump enables more school-aged children to go online outside of classroom hours and get on the right side of the Digital Divide. Families with school-aged children and no current broadband connection are eligible for the programme. They will receive a modem and a wireless broadband connection and pay $15 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 works with community-based organisations like the 20/20 Trust to deliver wireless broadband to families without internet.

20/20 Trust is active in communities around the country and selects families for the programme based on the eligibility criteria set by the Spark Foundation and the intent to support education. In Whangarei, the Central Library will help families set up and manage their internet connections as part of 20/20 Trust’s Stepping UP programme. Interested families should contact the Library to find out when the Spark Jump sessions are being held. Liz Cassidy-Nelson, Executive Officer of Taitokerau Education Trust, says Spark Jump will help close the skills gap between families who can afford home broadband and those who can’t.

“Access to the internet is critical in getting all our children better placed to succeed in school and later in life. We know that one of the challenges of getting home broadband is affordability and Spark Jump will help more families in Whangarei open the door to the digital world for their children,” says Cassidy-Nelson.

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 Spark Jump turn more homes in Whangarei into digital learning environments and enable more students to thrive in the digital world,” says Ms.

Le Gros.

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