Subsidised Broadband: How Spark New Zealand is Bridging the Digital Divide

Spark New Zealand Logo

Spark Foundation and 20/20 Trust have announced that subsidised broadband is available to more families in Hutt City through ACTS Institute, enabling more students to 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 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 Hutt City, ACTS Institute is the third provider to help families set up and manage their Spark Jump internet connections. Interested families should contact ACTS Institute to enquire when Spark Jump sessions are being held.

Jordan Shearer, Managing Trustee at ACTS Institute, 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 really important to get our children better placed to do amazing things in school and later in life. We know that for some families home broadband is not affordable and Spark Jump will help more children in Hutt City participate in the digital world,” says Jordan.

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 Hutt City into digital learning environments and enable more students to thrive in the digital world,” says Le Gros.