Ciena Plan – programme being extended to more regions

The Skinny Jump team has agreed to expand the reach of the Ciena programme to more Jump partners. This offers Jump households with school-aged children a fully funded Jump connection for the remainder of the 2023 school year (to the end of December 2023). Nearly 200 new families in 30 different areas have taken up this offer since the pilot extension was offered in February 2023.

You can find out more information about this programme on the Skinny Jump website and by watching our partner briefing session for those participating in the pilot (just a tip if you are viewing the recording of this webinar, for best quality viewing, we suggest you use the High Definition (1080p) setting:

We are now calling for Expressions of Interest (EOI) from other Jump partners who may be interested in offering the Ciena programme to students in your local schools. We were not able to include every partner who submitted an EOI in the pilot programme; in some cases this was because of limited capacity on Spark’s 4G cell towers. If you are still interested, please complete this new EOI and we’ll check the coverage situation again.  

Please submit your EOIs no later than Friday 16 June 2023

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:

Ministry of Education announces plans to connect all school students

The big news of the week came on Wednesday 8 April, with the Minister of Education, the Hon Chris Hipkins, announcing an $87.7 million plan to roll out learning from home.  This will involve a combination of online, television and physical learning resources.  The part that mostly affects Jump partners is the provision of internet services for households that currently do not have an internet connection.  The Ministry is collaborating with all telecommunications and internet service providers to make this happen as quickly as possible, with priority being given to households with senior secondary students working towards NCEA.

Spark is contributing to this by accelerating the deployment of Jump modems, the first of which were distributed on 9 April.  These are being supplied direct from the warehouse of Spark’s hardware partner, Ingram Micro.  DIAA will be assisting at the national level with faulty modem returns, but we are not expecting to involve delivery partners in handing the returns or in supplying replacements.

The process for reporting faulty modems will be the same – all Jump users must contact the Skinny Helpdesk if they suspect a faulty modem; the Skinny team will attempt to resolve the problem remotely, but if they are unable to do this, they will log the modem details in an online fault register that is shared with DIAA.  We will supply a replacement modem and either:

(1) a courier bag for the return of the modem to us (mainly for units supplied as part of the school programme); or

(2) instructions to hold the faulty modem until after the lockdown, when it should be returned to their nearest Jump partner (see below).

Note with faulty modem replacements

School requests for bulk supplies of Jump Modems

Schools are preparing for the possibility that they might need to close as a result of the COVID-19 alert and this has prompted them to take steps to ensure that all their students could continue to engage in online learning.  Which of course means that their students will need a home internet connection.   Schools have been checking with their students to find out how many do not have access to an internet connection at home and early indications are that this could be tens of thousands.

Some schools have already approached Jump partners requesting large quantities of Jump modems – one Auckland school has asked for 300. Clearly current Jump partners do not carry sufficient modem stocks to satisfy this demand.

The Spark Foundation and Ministry of Education are discussing a contingency plan for supporting the estimated 50,000 households that currently do not have a broadband internet connection.  A roll-out on this scale will place a large strain on all types of resources, so strategies are being implemented to ensure a pragmatic, well-managed and targeted approach is taken.

We’ve been advised by the Spark Foundation that the MOE will liaise directly with schools on this matter and that schools will hear from them in due course.  However, in the meantime, please remind schools that families who want to be pro-active and start preparing for the possibility of their children’s school(s) closing,  are more than welcome to contact their nearest Jump provider and make an appointment to sign-up for a connection.

It would be helpful if you could let us know if any schools contact you about this – could you ask the school for an estimate of how many households could be affected and a contact name, phone and email at the school and send this to us at  We can then make sure these schools are informed directly when the Ministry’s contingency plan is decided.