A message from one of our Jump partners today:
“I had a lady come in wanting a Skinny Jump this morning. I asked whether there was broadband at the property and she said no, so I proceeded to check her address with the Skinny Jump address checker. It said it was unavailable and when I explained this she said that she knew coverage was available there because there was already a Jump modem. I asked why she was wanting another Skinny Jump modem if there was already one there and she said that it was for one person and they weren’t going to top up for others. She then asked me to check other addresses – which returned the same ‘no availability’ result, so I wasn’t able to proceed, but she said she would return again. Wasn’t happy she couldn’t get a modem today and was starting to become slightly argumentative. Is it reasonable for there to be more than one Skinny Jump modem at a property? Is this going against the spirit of the programme? Just thought I should get the official party line on this.“
Two issues here – ‘no coverage’ and ‘more than one Jump modem at the same address’. These are issues many partners encounter.
(1) Skinny address checker indicates ‘no coverage’ but customers insist it works for their neighbours, or in the case above, at the same address. All partners will soon be receiving a pack of ‘no coverage’ explanatory flyers to give to customers who don’t understand the limitations of wireless connections (and that is pretty much everyone except radio engineers!). We also encourage someone from every Jump partner to attend one of the two special webinars next week (on 2 and 6 August, where this issue is being discussed by the Spark Foundation team. You can register here: https://diaa.arlo.co/w/upcoming/cat-11-partner-webinars/
(2) More than one modem at the same address: while the goal for Skinny Jump is to provide internet connectivity for households that can’t afford a fixed line connection, we do recognise that many houses often have more than one family or people who live quite independently of each other, e.g. a landlord and tenant. There are also many situations where people are living in flats, motels, camping grounds, etc. that share the same physical address. So sharing the same address is not enough to disqualify an applicant. There is no technical reason why two or more modems cannot be located at the same address (although when it gets to seven, as has happened, we do investigate to find out the reason). Partners have the discretion to refuse a customer if you suspect someone is abusing the opportunity, but you can supply more than one modem to the same address if you believe the reasons are genuine.
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:
- 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
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, email@example.com ,with any suggestions.
A question this morning from a family in Covid-19 lockdown with 3 school-aged children. They have no broadband at their temporary accommodation and are unsure about when they will be able to return to their home or when their children can return to school. They are currently using their mobile phone as a hotspot for internet connectivity, but are finding this very expensive.
The answer is yes; they are eligible for Jump. When they return to their home, they need to contact the Skinny Helpdesk to advise a change of address if they wish to continue using Jump.
This is not much different to families in emergency accommodation, who for the last three years have been able to connect to Jump while they are in temporary accommodation and take their Jump modem with them when they move to a more permanent location (assuming of course their new address is in a Skinny Jump coverage area).
The Jump eligibility criteria make it very clear that Jump is for households without a broadband internet connection. But this doesn’t stop people applying and putting forward their case. In most cases we have accepted their application. The scenarios we have accepted and those we have declined are summarised below. Most of the 60 (2%) we have declined are because of no Skinny wireless coverage.
- A senior on a fixed income is struggling to maintain the cost of an ‘on account’ service.
- An unemployed person can’t afford to keep a fixed line service.
- I am in a self-contained 2-bedroom sleep-out without access to the internet.
- Person living in rural community, referred by Health Services Provider, has the internet, but it’s too expensive.
- My brother had a Skinny jump modem, but he no longer resides here.
- Rural broadband is unreliable and insufficient for work and online learning for kids.
- I only have access the the internet from my smartphone.
- The other property with owners on site has internet, but I do not and cannot use their internet.
- A rural family has a capped Vodafone service that is unreliable and stops working when the cap is reached. Requires a supplementary service for a high school student.
- Wifi can not be installed in my Nana’s retirement village under current lockdown conditions. Jump is so much more affordable.
- We are moving out of Mum’s house next week.
- Previously had Jump modem, but modem lost in burglary.
- There is a paid WiFi service in our accommodation but it is cost prohibitive at $100 per month.
- Very inconsistent ADSL; not suitable for our needs.
- Existing provider disconnected 4 months ago because of overdue fees.
- My current internet connection cannot sustain work conference calls.
- Broadband connection is very slow and unreliable. It is not possible for 3 high school children and teacher to use for work/schooling.
- I am unable to afford my next internet bill and will be disconnected before the end of the month.
- Unable to afford data to join class.
- We live in a camping ground.
- Social housing tenant paying $129 per month for internet which she is struggling to maintain.
- I am currently in a motel and not sure where we will end up after the lockdown.
- I am in temporary emergency housing; the signal from the tower provides a very poor signal in my cabin.
- A teacher working from home requires extra data to teach from home.
- A migrant worker with an internet connection, but wanting a separate connection for his kids ‘to get online learning’.
- Outside Skinny wireless coverage area.
For anyone wanting to switch from an existing service it is important that they understand the full impact of making the change, i.e.
- Will they face any costs in terminating their existing connection; there could be an early termination fee if they are on a fixed term contract? Make sure they have contacted their existing provider to understand these costs, e.g. as a minimum there is likely to be a requirement for one month’s notice.
- Do they fully understand the extra effort involved in managing a prepay account requiring regular top-ups?
- Do they understand the data cap (150GB per month) that applies to Jump connections?