Good questions from the Auckland Ciena Jump partners

Earlier this week, Jo Cocker, Auckland Libraries’ Digital Literacy Specialist, convened a webinar for Auckland Library Jump partners engaging in the new Ciena Jump delivery processes. This generated a number of excellent questions that could be on the minds of other partners who have signed up to support this expanded initiative.

Q: How do we find out which schools are already participating in the CIENA programme?

A: Most of the schools already participating in the Ciena programme are in Auckland and Christchurch. You can find a schedule of both existing and potential Ciena schools here, together with their nearest Jump partner. In Christchurch this has been managed to date by the Greater Christchurch Schools Network (GCSN). From 31 January 2023, the sign-up process changed with modems now being issued by 37 selected (for the trial) Jump partners. Students seeking to participate must have a referral from their school or Jump partner as well as parent/guardian permission.

Q: Who initiates the process to sign students up for the Ciena plan?

A: From 31 January 2023, existing Ciena schools have been asked to send all student referrals to a nearby Ciena Jump Delivery Partner to get a Jump modem and complete the online signup processes (Skinny Jump and the Jump Profile Form (2023 version). Late in 2022, all Jump partners were invited to consider becoming a Ciena Jump Delivery Partner, and just under 40 partners were selected for the trial. These partners identified schools where they believed there would be students who could benefit from the Ciena assistance. It is now up to the partners to approach schools and explain the opportunity. We encourage partners to start with one or two schools in their community, as we are uncertain about how much demand there will be, but the programme is open to all schools (primary and intermediate as well as secondary). Briefing materials (including referral forms for distributing to schools) have now been sent to partners and the first signups are underway.

Q: If a student moves from a CIENA-school to a non-CIENA school, can they still be part of the programme?

A:Yes. The CIENA plan is associated with an individual household (not a school) where the student lives. If the family moves to a new address, they must follow standard Jump protocol, i.e. check that their new address has Jump coverage and then notify the Skinny Care Team (0800 475 4669).

Q: How many schools can we support with this CIENA offer?

As many as you like, but giving priority to secondary school students. While the internet can be important for learning at all levels, secondary school students face special challenges with assessments such as NCEA and the more successful they are during their school years, the more choices they will have in moving to tertiary studies or into the workforce.

Q: Will existing CIENA schools already have helped all their students get access to the internet, so should we focus on other schools?

A: All schools have new students arriving every year; many of these might be from households that can’t afford commercial internet plans, so it is better to not make any assumptions and just help raise awareness of the CIENA opportunity in schools and families in your community.

Q: What happens when the scheme ends in December 2023?

CIENA families will have the option of retaining the Jump modems and migrating to a standard Skinny Jump service (currently capped at 225GB with 6 $5 x 35GB top ups) or returning their modems to a Jump partner.

Q: What happens if CIENA families use all their 210GB allowance before the end of each calendar month?

A: The internet will stop working until the next monthly 210GB allowance is added to their accounts on the first day of the next month. We know that some households do use more than 210GB each month, especially households with a large number of family members. If this becomes a problem, we need to make it clear to participants that there is no penalty in terminating their Ciena Jump connection; we only ask that the modem be returned to a Jump partner so that it can be reprovisioned for another family.

Q: There is no provision on the Referral Form for a teacher or staff member to ‘authorise’ a student’s eligibility, yet the Profile Form requires the student to name the person who invited them to join the Ciena plan.

A: This is a question we expect partners to ask applicants before issuing a modem – who provided them with the Referral Form? This should be a named person from the student’s school or can be a Jump partner staff member. This is an extra step to validate the application, especially if there are any concerns about the student’s eligibility. We may contact this person if we have any concerns before provisioning the modem for Ciena. The important thing is to provide an actual name, not a generic position.

Q: I am doing a regular Jump sign-up and am aware that the applicant family could benefit from the CIENA plan. Can I sign them up or do I need to get approval from their school?

A: Any CIENA Jump Partner with access to the CIENA Referral forms can give approval and simply enter the name of the staff member completing the application on the Profile Form.

Q: How do families know their modem has been provisioned for CIENA?

A: This will generally happen within 1 working day of the modem being issued and the Profile Form and Referral Form being submitted. An email will be sent to the customer by DIAA confirming that their modem has been provisioned for Ciena and customers will notice the data bar on their dashboards change from the startup 35GB to 210GB.

Q: How do schools and the general public know where to find a CIENA Jump Delivery Partner?

The Skinny Jump website has been updated identifying trial partners as Ciena Jump Delivery partners, as per the example below:

More on Jump Waiting Lists

Many partners are now actively using the waiting list process to signal unmet demand for Jump modems, and we are continuously monitoring these lists to adjust delivery quantities for partners as well as priorities. We currently have 102 modem orders for partners in the pipeline, with total requests for over 1200 modems. This might seem like a lot, but the good news is that waiting times are trending down, and with Christmas coming, we expect this trend to continue at least until February. We have adjusted the re-supply trigger quantity down from 8 weeks to 5. This means that whenever you receive a new supply of modems, you should have enough to last 5 weeks (based on the number issued during the previous five weeks). We do factor in customers on waiting lists, so a couple of reminders about this process.

(1) When you add someone to the waitlist towards the bottom of your Jump Register please include their first and last name and the date they have applied for Jump. The most important field is the date – it must be in the following format: “22-Nov-2022”. Other date formats may not be recognised and this directly affects re-supply quantities.

(2) Do not add people living at locations that fail the Jump coverage test to your waitlists. You should complete an online application for them, so that we get ongoing data about demand that can not currently be met. We do double check coverage for every online application and send an email to applicants at locations where there is no Jump service.

(3) We have noticed some situations where applicants get the green light for Jump coverage when they initially apply, but by the time new modem supplies arrive the situation has changed. This is regrettable, but it is not something we can control. In these situations, please transfer the applicant from your waiting list to an online application.

(4) Some partners are confused about the address verification process and have reported that by the time they discover their customer’s address is not in coverage, they have already set up a Skinny account. The address coverage check MUST come first, and certainly before you start to set up a Skinny Jump account.

(5) And before you add anyone to your waitlist, we do strongly encourage you to use the 6 C’s checklist with your customer to make sure Jump is the right product for them. Failing to do this is likely to lead to further frustration when modem supplies become available and the customer only then discovering that the data cap is not going to work for their household, for example.

Jump Churn Feedback invited from 1 October 2022- be in to win!

83 partners joined one of our five ‘Jump Churn’ webinars last week. We would have liked to see more, as this is an extremely important issue – where many Jump customers simply stop using their Jump internet connections and do not return their modems. Not only do these modems cost a lot of money and are provided to Jump customers at no charge, we are currently facing a global shortage of modems. Over 1000 people are signing up to Jump every month, but because of these supply chain issues, customers are having to wait up to 2 months to get connected. If we can recover the thousands of modems that are no longer being used, we would make a lot of new customers very happy.

During the webinars the Jump team explained the 6 C’s, a new approach for reducing churn and we are keen to get your feedback on how this is working. The purpose of the 6 C’s is to ensure customers fully understand who Jump is intended for and its limitations. For example, we know that the data cap is not going to work for every household.

If you missed the webinars, you can find a recording of one of these sessions here.

We would like our partners to share their experiences using the 6 C’s conversation guide and provide any customer feedback. We know this could take a bit more time in making sure that Jump suits your customers’ needs, but we hope this will avoid disappointment if they discover the 225GB monthly data cap is simply not enough and also help to reduce the number of modems sitting idle.

The Spark Foundation has offered a monthly partner team prize up the value of $100 each month for the next three months for partners who share their feedback. All responses received each month will be entered into a random draw for the monthly team prize. The winner will be notified by email and published on this blog.

You can find the entry form on our Stepping UP website, on the Jump Partner Resources page here. Click on ‘Churn Feedback Form’.

And here’s the last Q&A from today’s Jump Churn briefing (23 September 2022)

Q: Is it possible to share this PowerPoint presentation? send to email?

A: You can find the slides here:

Q: How would you ask if they’re high data users without potentially offending patrons?

A: The context for the question is to help customers understand the data cap limitation.  They might not understand what they can get with 35GB – some examples are included on page 18 of the Partner Guide and on page 23 of the User Guide.  Customers with large families and especially where users spend hours online each day gaming or watching movies might be disappointed to find they reach the data cap quite quickly.  Every week, we see Jump modems being returned because customers want more data, so it is helpful to set expectations up front.

Q: The Skinny website is coming up with an error message when signing up a patron.

A: The Jump website has been updated this week to introduce a universal login, where users can now use the same email and password to access their Skinny accounts.  This has caused some disruption for partners who rely on shortcuts and bookmarks to access the Skinny Jump website.  The URL for the Skinny Jump homepage has changed, so any partners who rely on a bookmarked link will find this eventually leads to an error page.  Our advice is to update any bookmarks with the new URL:

Q: When will we be able to see our churn stats?

A: As a first step, Skinny is exploring the best way to share churn rates with Jump delivery partners and provide regular updates.  These will be added to partner GSheet registers when they are available. There are privacy issues in sharing individual customer churn details with delivery partners, although follow up support from partners would be welcomed.  We must first work out the best way to do this without breaching customers’ privacy.

Q: If after using the 6 Cs it doesn’t seem like the programme would be suitable for the patron are we meant to say no to signing them up? How would we do this?

A: The key underlying strategy is try and reduce churn, especially from people who do not return unwanted modems.  We want to make sure that Jump is going to meet the needs of customers and we think the 6 C’s conversation might help customers work out for themselves whether the product is suitable or not, rather than feel let down when for one reason or another it doesn’t meet their expectations.  The 6 C’s are a conversation guide, and are not intended to be perceived as a barrier for people signing up for Jump.  Partners have always had the discretion to say ‘no’ if they suspect anything untoward about the applicant, e.g. people who might not be telling the truth about where they live.  But in the end, Jump operates as a high trust model; we do not expect partners to ‘means test’ applicants, although at times this can be blatantly obvious.  I am aware of one partner who quite rightly turned down a customer who arrived at the library in a late model Mercedes Benz wanting a Jump modem for her bach. 

We expect the 6 C’s could lead to a customer saying: “OK then, it doesn’t seem that Jump is right for me”.  If there is some uncertainty and a customer is insisting that Jump is right for them, partners should emphasise the importance of returning the modem if the customer discovers otherwise.

Even more Q&A from the Jump Churn briefings (22 September 2022)

Q: Do blocked modems count towards the churn number? i.e. when a customer moves it without notifying Skinny or removes the SIM

A: Yes – if the modem is blocked by Skinny Care and is not used on the network for a period of 30 days, it will show is inactive.

Q: I’ve been working with an elderly lady who wants to connect to Facebook and wanted Skinny Jump. She would have never set it up on her own; I set up modem, showed her how to top up, got her on Facebook and using her Gmail. The elderly when getting Jump really need a lot of time to get their confidence up and understand what to do. I’ve been around 3 times and I will go again to get her to a place where she can use it well.

A: Wonderful example of going above and beyond. This could be used as your monthly draw submission.

Q: When having the conversation with potential customers are we then able to suggest that they are not suitable for Skinny Jump – ie., turn them down on the basis that, say, they might use too much data?

A: Yes, that is the point of the 6 C’s conversation – to help make sure that Jump is the right product for them.  Hopefully, by the end of your conversation with them, they will recognise for themselves that Jump might not be the right product for them.

Q: How do we get the stats as a partner to what ones are inactive, so we have a starting % point and can work to improve this?

A: As a first step, Skinny is exploring the best way to share churn rates with Jump delivery partners and provide regular updates.  These will be added to partner GSheet registers when they are available. There are privacy issues in sharing individual customer churn details with delivery partners, although follow up support from partners would be welcomed.  We must first work out the best way to do this without breaching customers’ privacy.

Q: Is it a good idea to phone them a few days after issuing modem and see how they are going and that they have got it going and using it?

A: A: Skinny Jump is planning to introduce seven touch points (by email) during the first 12 months of each new Jump customer’s journey, to provide helpful tips and solicit feedback. This will identify any challenges that customers might be having with their Jump connection. However, partners are welcome to follow up with customers as they wish; however, care needs to be taken to check first that the customer has agreed to follow up calls.  These permissions are captured in the Profile forms, as well as the contact phone number; we will have to work out a way to share these data fields with partners, as they are not currently included in the partner GSheets.

Q: We had a few people trying to sign up for their holiday homes. They answer truthfully that they have no internet connection at that address.

A: The new 6 C’s conversation should help to make it clear that Jump is not for holiday homes. There are commercial month to month or open term broadband options available to them.

Q: A lot of our customers may need more data than Jump but they have bad credit so Jump is their only option

A: That’s a tricky conversation to have as we don’t want partners to start checking on customers’ credit ratings.  Just do your best to explain the data cap limitations of Jump, so customers can adapt their internet usage to suit.

Q: Great webinar, thank you so much. It has made me more aware of the issue with churn and will work to try and improve these stats as a partner

A: Thanks you; we appreciate all that you do for Jump and your help in reducing churn.

Q: Are we allowed to do a display asking for modem returns?

A: Absolutely, yes.  There are some handout flyers coming soon for all new customers.  These include a ‘punch-out’ sticker for customers to attach to their modems, reminding them to return their modems when they no longer need them.

Q: I’m going to put it on our Facebook page

A: Excellent idea

More follow up to the 5 C’s briefings: notes from 21 September 2022

Thanks you to the participants in today’s briefing for your thoughtful questions and suggestions. As for yesterday’s briefing I have compiled a set of Q & A’s, some of which Alan was able to address during the Zoom call. Other questions I have followed up with him subsequent to the meeting.

Q: Can you send us the slides at the end?

A: You can find the slides here:

Q: Would there be a benefit to having conversations around returns – no value judgement but framed as beneficial to others when you no longer need the connection?

A: Most definitely, it’s an important part of the sign-up conversation. We will make this more explicit in the next version of the Jump Partner manual.

Q: Would it be easier to have a return envelope or drop off at your local library?

A: Yes, that’s an option.  The Spark Foundation team is discussing this with other organisations as well as Jump delivery partners (who are already doing this with the pre-paid courier bags that DIAA sends for recovering faulty and obsolete modems).

Q: Could you clarify if a customer still needs to top-up each month? Does the 15GB free monthly top-up count if they are just a low user?

A: No, customers only need to top up if they need more than the free 15GB data in any calendar month.  15GB meets the needs of around 17% of all Jump customers who never need to top up; effectively they are getting a totally free service.

Q: Is there an ETA on when we will have more modems?

A: This is difficult to predict, because of continuing global challenges with the modem supply chain.  Skinny is trying to increase buffer stocks, but at this stage demand continues to outstrip supply.  Our suggestion is to add customers to the waiting list in your Jump GSheet register.  This helps us understand the true nature of the demand, so that we can keep pressure on our suppliers.

Q: Would it be useful for you to list some of the issues and the potential solutions? E.g. I don’t know anything about what is available out there commercially and I suspect many customers aren’t aware either?

A: As a not-for-profit organisation, the Spark Foundation is not permitted to recommend specific commercial products. However, DIAA could develop some guidelines on where to direct people who do not meet the 6 C’s criteria.

Q: We’d be interested to know the churn for our District when the info is available.

A: As a first step, Skinny is exploring the best way to share churn rates with Jump delivery partners and provide regular updates.  These will be added to partner GSheet registers when they are available. There are privacy issues in sharing individual customer churn details with delivery partners, although follow up support from partners would be welcomed.  We must first work out the best way to do this without breaching customers’ privacy.

Q: Currently, the questions to ask the customers to see if they qualify are located at the end of the sign up in the profile questions. Sorry if I missed it but does this mean we should be having this conversation before signing up?

A: We envisage that the six C’s will be conversation starters to determine if Jump is the right fit for the customer, so yes, it does make sense for this checklist to be up front.  Note the first point on the Partner Checklist in the Partner Guide (Page 5) is to establish whether customers are eligible for Skinny Jump. It makes sense to perhaps change this to “Is Jump the right service for you?”.  We will also be reviewing the Profile Form and the Online Application Form to take account of the 6 C’s.

Q: Does anyone make contact with the customers to assess how they going with their modems? This maybe the opportunity to check.

A: Skinny Jump is planning to introduce seven touch points (by email) during the first 12 months of each new Jump customer’s journey, to provide helpful tips and solicit feedback. This will identify any challenges that customers might be having with their Jump connection.

Q: Could partners contact people they have signed up to do this follow up, especially for people who have stopped using Jump?

A: We would welcome this support from partners, but we appreciate this could involve a huge amount of effort, especially for partners who are signing up more than one a day.  For privacy reasons, Skinny is not able to share individual customer data with partners (or anyone else for that matter).  So, any follow up calls would involve contacting everyone who ticks the box saying they are happy to be contacted.  DIAA would be happy to work with a partner to test this process, using a conversational approach based on the current surveys.

Q: We usually follow up with our customers to ensure they have connected successfully.

A: We would recommend a call after 2-4 weeks.  We have noticed some customers return their modems within the first couple of weeks; we do not fully understand why they change their minds so quickly.  We are concerned that many others may also change their mind but don’t bother returning the modem.

Follow up to Jump 6 C’s Briefing on 20 September 2022

We ran out of time during Tuesday’s briefing to answer everyone’s questions, so I have compiled a Q & A below. This might also answer questions on other Jump partners’ minds. And remember it is not too late to register for one of these briefings – two more to go – at 9am on Thursday 22nd and 2pm on Friday 23rd. Register here.

Q: Can we please be sent the 6 C’s slides?

A: A copy of the slide deck will be added to the Partner Resources Hub for Skinny Jump on the Stepping UP website.

Q: What about those that live in house buses etc?

A: This depends on how frequently the house bus is moved.  Skinny Jump customers may relocate their Jump modem to a new address provided they contact the Skinny Care team in advance to verify that there is coverage and capacity at the new location.  Customers who change address without notifying the Care team will have their service blocked.

Q: We have a person who travels around the district in her house bus with her jump modem. She comes in to us to check which possible locations have Jump available using Check my Address. So she shouldn’t have a modem?

A: Not necessarily. It is good that she is getting you to check addresses for coverage and capacity in advance, but unless she is also notifying the Skinny Care Team, she will appear in a breach report, which could lead to her service being blocked.

Q: Is anyone from Skinny Jump making contact with the inactive users or asking the partner that the user signed up with to try to contact them to discuss their inactivity?  This could increase the return of modems to be given to others.

A: Skinny is planning to introduce seven touch points (by email) during the first 12 months of each new Jump customer’s journey, to provide helpful tips and solicit feedback. This will identify any challenges that customers might be having with their Jump connection.

Q: Are all those points of contact digital?

A: At this stage, yes. By email.

Q: This might be better with a phone call as a lot of our JUMP people start a new email address just for JUMP. This is often because they don’t remember their password or have lost the phone so can’t reset it.

A: With over 1000 new customers every month, making contact by phone would be a huge task. We have tested phone follow-up but have discovered a large percentage have either changed their phone number or do not answer their phones.  Of the people who do answer, by far the majority are actively using the service. 

Q: A Skinny Jump customer recently told me that he saw that Skinny had a deal for unlimited data for anyone with a Skinny Mobile plan of $16 or more. He missed out on this deal but with 2 school aged children, he is finding that he is needing more data above the capped amount.  Are Skinny considering doing this deal again for those customers that also have a Skinny mobile plan?

A: Skinny, like other ISPs, does offer special deals from time to time to understand what works best for their customers.  The unlimited deal linked to Skinny mobile phones was a special 2-week promotion, but it is likely that there will be other promotions in the future.

Q: Is it possible to obtain a list of those in our churn rate so we can contact?

A: As a first step, Skinny is exploring the best way to share churn rates with Jump delivery partners and provide regular updates.  These will be added to partner GSheet registers when they are available. There are privacy issues in sharing individual customer churn details with delivery partners, although follow up support from partners would be welcomed.  We must first work out the best way to do this without breaching customers’ privacy.

Skinny Jump operates on a high trust model

A partner recently raised a concern about some customers who appear to be swapping their existing internet connection for a Jump connection (including some library staff), simply because it is cheaper; they felt this went against the spirit of the programme, especially at a time when we have a shortage of Jump modems.

Alan Bucheler, who is the Skinny Jump programme lead at the Spark Foundation, responded with an excellent explanation – I am repeating it below:

As the cost of living increases, we know that for some people paying for an internet connection may seem like a luxury they need to go without, so that they can still afford essentials like food, petrol or rent.  This is why Skinny Jump exists – so that anyone who finds that cost is a barrier to having an internet connection at home can still participate in an increasingly digital world. This is why we operate on a high trust model rather than income testing customers when signing them up to Skinny Jump –  to remove any barriers to people getting connected.  

Jump has a wide range of customers who include families with children, people living in social housing, seniors, refugees and new migrants, people with disabilities, and people on low incomes. Affordability looks different for everyone, which means that some library staff and their households could meet the Skinny Jump eligibility criteria. 

Jump is capped at 210GB a month, which allows customers to do the essentials – like applying for jobs, online learning, banking and emails. However, 210GB is not enough data for streaming services or gaming, and we believe that this data cap acts as a deterrent for customers who are just looking for a cheaper deal on an internet connection. Skinny has a number of commercial plans in market for customers looking for low-cost internet options, that might better suit their needs.” 

Toy Libraries are not eligible for Jump

We regularly receive inquiries about whether community groups such as toy libraries, scout groups, rowing clubs etc. are eligible for Skinny Jump. I can understand that a low cost pre-pay service such as Jump would suit the needs of many community groups, who only require internet access from time to time.

But Jump is a highly subsidised service supported by the Spark Foundation and intended for households that can not afford monthly ‘on account’ internet plans. Eligible groups are clearly identified in Jump promotional material as well as on the Skinny Jump website.

Partners are asked to explain this to any community groups that might apply. We have heard stories from some partners that community groups can be quite argumentative when they are turned down, claiming that other similar groups are using Jump connections. If this is the case, a mistake had been made in issuing modems.

We suggest you ask for details of groups who are claiming to have been provided with Jump modems and by whom so that we can correct this misinformation.

Can you issue more than one Jump modem to a household?

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:

(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.