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Purpose of this blog

This site is managed by the Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa (DIAA) and is intended for partner organisations delivering programmes endorsed and/or supported by DIAA.  currently this includes the following programmes:

  • Stepping UP
  • JUMP
  • DORA
  • Measuring Digital Inclusion: A Pilot Programme
  • Digital Wellbeing

The blog aims to address mainly operational issues associated with the delivery of these selected digital inclusion programmes.  It provides a repository of information dealing with specific questions raised by programme delivery partners.

Jump Modems – Delivery Options

I am getting frequent questions about whether the home delivery self-service option is still available for Skinny Jump.  The short answer is “yes”, but please read on so that I can explain the ‘but‘.

All Jump inquiries are directed to a delivery partner organisation and our preference (from both a support and financial perspective) is for people to front up to a local partner.  There are now 196 publicly listed locations where people can go to get a Skinny Jump modem and new locations are being added every week.

The advantages are manifold:

(1) Partners are able more easily to assess the eligibility of the applicants;

(2) Partners are able to assist applicants set up their Skinny accounts, making sure they have a working email (and one they can remember the password for!);

(3) Partners are able to explain what customers can do with 30GB data and how they are limited to five plan renewals (total of 150GB) a month;

(4) Partners are able to explain the top up/ plan renewal process, so that customers feel confident about doing this when their first month’s internet expires;

(5) Partners are welcome to engage interpreters for customers who have English as a second language, and claim back costs from DIAA;

(6) Partners are able to offer opportunities for new internet users to participate in scheduled Stepping UP or Better Digital Futures digital literacy classes;

(7) Partners are able to develop a relationship with the customer, so that they are encouraged to return for other library services.

BUT, if for any reason the customer finds it difficult to get to a Jump partner, e.g. they could live a long way away or may have physical disabilities that prevent them from travelling, partners are welcome to use the online application form.  Note that the Application Form has been amended to require the name of the person making the referral and their organisation.  Applicants must also give a reason why they can’t visit a Jump partner.

Good news stories

We are on the lookout for good news stories.  We publish these in our Annual Report and they provide incredibly important feedback to our funders.  So, we are seeking your help in identifying some good news stories – anything from the last 12 months, for any of our programmes – Stepping UP, DORA and Digital Banking, Digital Wellbeing and of course, Jump.  Our particular focus is to profile some individuals who have participated in one of our digital inclusion programmes and who is willing to share their story (and a photograph).

With the extension of the Jump criteria on 25 March 2020 to include more groups of digitally excluded people, we are particularly interested in a diversity of stories from different digitally excluded groups:

  • Māori
  • Pacific Peoples
  • People in social housing
  • families with low incomes
  • People in rural communities
  • Unemployed people
  • People with low literacy skills
  • People with disabilities
  • Migrants and refugees
  • Offenders and ex-offenders
  • Seniors

We have a journalist who is helping us and she is happy to interview people directly, but we need your help with introductions please.  Please email me,  laurence@diaa.nz ,with any suggestions.

Does Skinny sign customers up for Jump?

No, Skinny does not sign customers up for Jump.  The only way someone can sign up for Jump is through you, our DIAA partner network.  This is the case, whether you are providing the modem (and completing the Stepping UP Profile Form) or just helping an applicant complete the Online Application Form. Now some internet-savvy people (often the children of the applicants, we suspect) have been able to find the online application form on our Stepping UP website and have completed this without talking to a partner.  But we haven’t made this particularly easy to find, so much so that we had a library partner asking us last week where he could find the Application Form, as he had a customer to sign up.

We do ask everyone completing the Application Form to tell us how they found out about Jump, but that doesn’t tell us which partner is helping them sign up.

We do want to keep encouraging applicants to signup through a partner;  partners are so important in explaining both the opportunities and constraints of Skinny Jump.  This is particularly important for people who simply see Jump as a low cost internet service (which it is), without understanding the costs of switching from an existing internet service and the need to top up every 30GB.  We contact anyone who says they already have an internet connection to understand why they want to switch, and while there are often perfectly legitimate reasons, we have found a number of situations where this is not in their best interests, so we do want applicants to make informed choices.

The absolute limit of 150GB a month needs to be clearly explained, as there is no option to ‘purchase’ extra data once the 150GB limit (5 top ups) is reached.  Jump customers who reach this limit simply have to wait until the next month to reinstate their internet service.  A few angry customers contacted the Skinny Helpdesk when they reached this limit during the first month of the new Skinny Jump service. The Helpdesk staff will respectfully suggest to these callers that they consider other plans, as they have no discretion to go above the 150GB.

Some customers also have an internet package bundled with their phone account and they need to do their sums before swapping to Jump.  In one recent case, the caller had a phone and internet package costing about $85 a month; they didn’t understand that most of this cost was for their fixed phone line, but when they did their sums realised there wouldn’t be that much saving in moving to Jump and in addition they would have the ‘inconvenience’ of having to keep topping up and renewing their Jump plan.  So in the end they decided that the $5/month saving was simply not worth the trouble of switching.

 

 

Post Haste branch contacts

All Jump modems are sent by Post Haste.  For rural communities, Post Haste hands over the final delivery stage to a partner courier company, Coural. For deliveries in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, the unprecedented demand for courier services during the last two months  has meant that deliveries are frequently delayed.  At times the package appears to delayed in one of the main centre depots; this was particularly bad during the Level 4 and Level 3 Covid-19 lockdown periods, when most businesses were not operating and the couriers were unable to move packages through their depots.  This resulted in huge congestion and at times Jump modems seemed to literally get buried in the depots.

If the courier tracker reveals this to be case, we advise customers (or Jump delivery partners) to follow up directly with their nearest Post Haste courier branch.  Contact details are in the table below:

Auckland 161 Station Road, Penrose 09 525 4060
Auckland North Harbour 1 Rothwell Avenue, North Harbour 09 525 2060
Blenheim 43 Grove Road, Blenheim 03 520 8430
Christchurch (includes West Coast) 20 Syd Bradley Road, Dakota Park, Christchurch 03 345 6830
Dunedin 35 Portsmouth Drive, Dunedin 03 477 7238
Hamilton 32-36 Gallagher Drive, Hamilton 07 843 0755
Hawkes Bay (Includes Gisborne) 22 Wakefield Street, Napier 06 843 9493
Invercargill / Queenstown 195 Bond Street, Invercargill 03 214 4242
Nelson Unit 7, 74 Quarantine Road, Nelson 03 545 6779
New Plymouth Unit 3, 674 Devon Road, New Plymouth 06 769 6545
Palmerston North 12-22 Cook Street, Palmerston North 06 356 5337
Rotorua (includes Taupo) 105 Biak Street, Rotorua 07 348 5666
Tauranga 34 Hull Road, Mount Maunganui 07 571 5601
Timaru 139-141 Hilton Highway, Timaru 03 687 4276
Wellington (incudes Wairarapa) 9 Glover Street, Ngauranga, Wellington 04 472 3666
Whangarei 11 Dyer Street, Whangarei 09 430 2396

Track & Trace for Jump modems

After couriering 3500 Jump modems and experiencing significant courier delays, we grew to the realisation that there must be a better way to inform customers about delivery progress.  I realise many of you, as our delivery partners, have been at the front end of this.  Having helped people connect to Jump, the next natural question people have had has been: “when will my modem arrive?”, or even “has my application been approved?”.

Everyone does get an email copy of their application form which advises them that it could take a week to get the modem to them, but inevitably people do want to make sure their application has not been overlooked.

So we have signed up for eTXT, a service provided by Spark, to provide all applicants with a text message, including a link to the Post Haste tracker for their modem.  The text will be sent when the modem is collected by the courier, which is generally around mid-day the day after the application has been submitted.

Normal courier times are overnight within the North Island and 2 days to the South Island, and for rural deliveries another day or so.  But these have not been normal times, and congestion in the courier world means that it has been taking much longer.  At times the modem gets as far as the recipient’s home but for some reason the courier is unable to locate the person the package is for and so it is returned to the local courier depot.

By giving applicants access to the courier tracker, they can monitor the journey of their modem themselves and if they find out it is held up in their local courier branch, they can contact them directly to arrange delivery.

We should have done this 8 weeks ago, but this has been a learning journey for us as well.  And it is certainly not too late, as our home deliveries for Jump modems are continuing at around 40 a day.

We expect this to be operational from Tuesday’s courier run (2 June 2020).  For those who don’t receive a text confirmation that a modem is on the way within a few days of their application, this probably means that there has been an issue with the address details or Skinny coverage.  In this case, we contact all families by phone, text or email to get the missing information or explain why we haven’t sent a modem.

So if partners do get any queries about modem deliveries please ask your customers to contact Shelley on 0800 463 422 and she will follow this up.  Please do not contact the Skinny Helpdesk with any issues about modem deliveries – they do not have access to this information.  They take over once the modem arrives and provide assistance as required in setting up Skinny accounts and providing any technical support.

Invercargill onto it!

Lindsay King, the Learning Connections Coordinator at Invercargill City Libraries, and local coordinator for Skinny Jump, is the first Jump partner since the Covid-19 lockdown ended to request a courier sticker and address label to send faulty and returned modems for recycling.  So I thought it might be timely to remind everyone of the process for handling returned and faulty Jump modems.

You may recall my earlier post about returning faulty modems. During the last 2 months, we have issued over 3500 Jump modems through our home-delivery process.  Not surprisingly, around 4% of these (140) have been identified as ‘faulty’ when customers have reported problems to the Skinny Helpdesk and we have couriered a replacement modem.   We included a note with the replacement modem, asking the customer to return the faulty modem to their nearest Jump partner after the Covid-19 lockdown ended.

Now that most partners have their doors open again, I am expecting the people holding faulty modems to return them to you.  Please just assign them to your faulty/returns modem box and when you have a box full (5 or 6 modems) please contact us at jump@diaa.nz  to get a courier sticker and return address label.  Please advise the IMEI numbers of the modems you are sending for recycling, so that we can update our records.

Note that this applies to all returned modems; we no longer require you to contact the Skinny Helpdesk to request de-linking, so that the modem can be re-issued.

You are also welcome to send modems directly to the recycler if you prefer, but can you please advise us the IMEI numbers of the modems when you do this.  Thank you.

The recycler is:

Sims E-Cycling (NZ) Ltd, 69 Aintree Avenue, Mangere, AUCKLAND Attention: Robert Herbert Phone: 09 275 1501

 

Jump Data boost to end on 16 June

With the closure of schools during the level 3 and 4 Covid-19 lockdown, Skinny applied a free 6GB data boost every week day during school hours to all Jump accounts.  So while this was primarily targeted at families with school children, everyone with a Jump connection has benefited.

Now that schools are open again, the need for this data boost has reduced, and as a result, Tuesday 16 June will be the last day for the free 6GB.

All Jump customers will receive an email notifying them of this by 9 June 2020.

What happened to the Jump Participant GDoc Registers?

Things changed on 25 March (not just the Covid-19 lockdown!) with the expansion of the criteria for Jump.  When we introduced the home-delivery option (that has now reached nearly 4000 people), we abandoned the Kawa of Care form that we used to update the Jump registers in GDocs and replaced this with a Stepping UP Profile form which is to be used by partners when issuing Jump modems.  We also plan to progressively use this for other DIAA digital inclusion programmes, to create a more comprehensive picture of the people who are participating.

For the home-delivery Jump option, we created a new form (Skinny Jump Application Form), based on the Stepping UP profile form, but with some additional contact information, such as a physical address so that we can check Skinny Jump coverage and courier modems to applicants.

For modems issued by partners, we are continuing to update the individual partner Jump register GDocs, using information captured in the Stepping UP profile form, but we are only including name and date information (linked to IMEI and BB numbers).  The remaining data is consolidated in a national database where we can analyse the profile of people participating.  The advice we received from privacy lawyers was that we were exposing ourselves and our partners to possible privacy breaches by recording participant details in a GDoc that could be easily shared and copied.

Our main reason for maintaining the individual partner GDocs is for stock control purposes, so that we can re-issue modems as required. Partners are welcome to continue to have access to this if they find it helpful.

Too early for libraries to start providing Jump modems

I think this is a pretty universal position that it is too early for libraries and other public facilities to start issuing Jump modems.  Since my last post on the Level 2 restrictions for Jump, our library partners seem to agree that while their facilities are officially open,  social distancing, cleaning requirements and in some cases, limitations on the length of time people can stay in the facility, make it simply too difficult for group activities.  However, the good news is that everyone seems very happy to keep operating in the same way as the have been for the last 8 weeks, i.e. accepting Jump inquiries from their community and where necessary, assisting with the completion of the online application form.  Modems are then couriered directly to applicants’ homes, with a user guide explaining how to set up the Jump modem and open a Skinny account.

So our proposal is that from next week most Jump partner sites listed on the Skinny Jump map will be updated to read:

Contact us during normal business hours to sign up for Jump.

A contact name and normal business telephone number will then replace the personal mobile number of the staff member working from home.

Our proposal is that this will become the default information, but individual partners may choose slight variations to this wording if required.  For example, some library staff have approval to continue working from home and managing Jump inquiries by phone.  The Partner map information will then read:

Jump classes suspended until further notice. Phone us to sign up for Jump. 

We ask all public Jump delivery partners to review the information on the Skinny map and advise us of any changes required (jump@diaa.nz).

In Auckland, 31 libraries are opening on 20 May and the other 24 immediately after Queen’s Birthday weekend (2 June).

We expect these updates to be made by Wednesday 20 May.

 

Managing Jump accounts for whānau and small groups in managed communities

The extension of the Jump eligibility criteria to other digitally disadvantaged groups such as seniors and people with disabilities, as well as the Covid-19 constraints that we have all had to face during the last seven weeks, has made us think about more flexible options for delivering Jump.  Two particular situations have come to light.

  1. 35 year old Jake takes responsibility for setting up a Jump account for his elderly Mum who lives in another town and has health issues. Jake completes an online application for his Mum but uses his own email address, so that he can check all the details such as the courier address were entered correctly.  The home delivery service kicked in and arranged for the modem to be couriered to his Mum.  When the modem arrived, Jake proceeded to set up the Skinny account in his Mum’s name but with his own email address so that he could verify the account when the Skinny email arrived.  The only thing Jake overlooked was that he would need the modem broadband number and the verification code to set up the account, and as the modem was now some hundreds of kilometres away, he could not easily check this.  So he called his mum and asked her for the codes on the base of the modem, but his mum was a bit confused by all the numbers and wasn’t what ones to give him. Lightbulb moment!  “Mum, take a photo of the base and rear of the modem and send them to me!”  Jake was now able to complete setting up the account.  Roll-on 30 days and Jake gets an email from Skinny reminding him that he needs to top up his Mum’s account and renew the $5 plan.   Jake’s Mum lives alone and she uses less than 30GB during the first month, so $5 a month is not really a financial burden for Jake. Remembering to top up every month is a bit of a pain for Jake, so he loads $20 onto his Mum’s account; each month $5 will be deducted, as the plan automatically renews.  Now how easy is that for Jake and his Mum.
  2. Leona works for an organisation that provides support to people with disabilities and wants to provide (and pay for) a Jump connection for 10 people in her community.  She has already procured 10 Chromebooks to set up a library of devices that people can borrow while under Covid-19 restrictions.  The people she wants to support are living at different locations so she opted for the home-delivery service.  However, she asked DIAA to provide her with a schedule of the modems allocated with the IMEI and Broadband numbers, as well as the Verification codes.  This enabled her to set up individual accounts for each recipient.  She also elected to set up a new email and password for each recipient, so that she could initially manage the accounts by paying for the top ups and renewing the Jump plans for each of the 10 people being supported, as required. Her plan is to eventually hand over the accounts to the individuals involved for them to self-manage. To simplify the process of accessing and topping up accounts she selected the Skinny Linked Accounts option.  While this was originally intended for parents to manage their children’s Skinny accounts, it can equally be used for managed community situations like the one described above.  Another organisation similar to Leona’s is happy to arrange for the delivery of the modems to their constituents, but the process is effectively the same.  We are referring to organisations like these as Community Connectors.