With schools now closed, how are we helping school students who do not have broadband?
Spark, Skinny and Spark Foundation are in discussion with the Ministry of Education about how they can help get all school students set up with a broadband connection. Jump might play a role in this, as might other technologies like fibre and copper connectivity.
The MoE has indicated that around 50,000 homes with school students don’t have a broadband connection. Rolling out at this scale (and pace) comes with many logistical challenges. The Spark Foundation is asking all schools requesting Jump to sit tight for now so they can coordinate a plan with MoE.
Families who don’t want to wait may sign up using our existing processes; for the most part this currently involves registering online using our Skinny Jump Order form. A modem will then be couriered to the family with a self-service user guide to activate the modem and set up a Skinny account.
However, we (DIAA) are not able to respond to schools requesting large volumes of modems; we hope this will be sorted by MoE before schools open again after Easter.
We are continuing to supply Jump modems, as internet connections are recognised as an essential service:
Basically there are two options:
Option 1: Partner Assisted. This is a variation of our current (pre-COVID-19 Lockdown) model. Modems are still supplied by the Jump Partner, but the family is assisted by phone with the set up process, including new email if required, creating the Skinny account and completing the online Stepping UP Profile form. Pretty much the same as you have been doing, only without the user physically coming to the library. The new Skinny User Guide now being supplied with all modems explains what families need to do when they get their modem home, including top-ups. The main challenge with this model is how you as a partner get the modem to the family; if couriering is the only option, then you are better to go with Option 2 below. Some partners are implementing ‘no-contact’ options where families can collect their modems from the front porch or deck of the Partner’s home after it has been set up. (we have received 56 signups through this process in the last 2 days)
Option 2: Self Supported. In this case, people contact you as the designated staff person by telephone. You complete the online Spark Jump Order form on their behalf based on information they supply over the phone. And that’s all you need to do (takes just a couple of minutes). We (DIAA) receive the submitted order form and courier a modem directly to the user, along with a Self-service User Guide. This explains how to set up a Skinny account, which the user can either do on their own or they can call the Skinny Helpdesk for assistance. (we have already received 120 requests through this process in just 2 days)
The main difference between the two options is whether you supply the modem (Option 1) or whether we courier directly to the use (Option 2). For both options we need your assistance in responding to initial inquiries and helping users complete the documentation.