A new record for JUMP signups in October

Congratulations to the 64 partners who signed up a record number of families to JUMP in October. 368 more families are now benefiting from this very affordable internet service.  Our previous record high was 365 in May 2019.  Linwood Library topped the ladder with 32 signups, followed by Kaitaia Library with 26.  Glen Innes and Papakura Libraries took the 3rd equal place with 19 signups each.

Linwood, Kaitaia and Glen Innes have already been top of the ladder this year, so the Spark Foundation morning tea for October goes to Papakura (Sir Edmund Hillary Library).

What is especially pleasing is that we have had JUMP signups from an average of more than 60 partners for each of the last three months.  Our special goal now is to get our other 80 JUMP partners signing up families every month.  If you are one of these 80, do tell us how we can help.

Spark planning to launch JUMP 2 in early 2020

Jolie Hodson, CEO of Spark, gave an excellent presentation at the DIA-hosted Digital Inclusion Connect Forum, in Wellington yesterday.  Jolie gave us a sneak preview of Spark’s plans for a revitalised JUMP service.  This included raising the data allowance to 50GB for $10 (up from 30GB), limiting the number of top-ups each month to three (to help families avoid spending too much on the Internet each month) and extending the eligibility criteria to include unemployed people, youth and isolated seniors as well as families with children 18 and under.  Jolie didn’t mentioned when this might happen, but we understand it is likely to be early in 2020.

Spark’s objective is to increase the number of people benefiting from JUMP to 35,000 each year, up from the current 3,500.  Jolie also mentioned that Spark is looking for ways to do more than just connect people to the internet; she wants to help New Zealand move towards a more digitally equitable society, where everyone has the skills and capabilities to participate and improve their digital wellbeing.

Jolie noted that the 2018 Census revealed that there 211,000 households with no internet and connecting all these households with affordable quality internet is a challenge that Spark is willing to take on.  Well done Spark!

Process for JUMP modem relocations

Partners are reminded to brief all families when issuing modems about the correct procedure if they wish to move the modem to a new address.

  1. Families should check that their new address is in a Spark 4G coverage area by using the address checker here.
  2. If the new address does not have coverage, the modem should be returned to you.
  3. If the new address is in coverage, families must call the Skinny Helpdesk on 0800 475 4669 to advise them of the change of address.  Failure to do this could result in the modem being disconnected.

Kaitaia tops the July JUMP sign-ups (again!)

Congratulations to the Kaitaia Library JUMP team who topped the country for the second time with 34 families signed up in July.  The top 10 were:

Kaitaia Library 34
Whanganui District Libraries 33
Otahuhu Library 23
Glen Innes Library 21
Dunedin Public Library 13
Mangere East Library 12
Te Matariki Clendon Community Library 12
Masterton Library 10
Sir Edmund Hillary Library (Papakura) 10
Linwood Library 9

Whanganui District Libraries gave Kaitaia a run for their money and during the month were frequently in the lead, but on the last day, Kaitaia edged ahead.  All partners in the top six places have benefited from a Spark Foundation morning tea, so the award for July goes to Te Matariki Clendon.  Thank you John Mata’afa and your team for your efforts.

Spark Give JUMP Vouchers UPDATE

Further to my recent advice below, we received new supplies of top-up vouchers today (7 August).  Everyone who has submitted speed test result has now been mailed a complimentary voucher, courtesy of Spark staff participating in the Spark Give programme.  Thank you Spark team.

A number of partners have requested further supplies of the complimentary $10 JUMP top-up vouchers to assist families retain their JUMP connections. The availability of these vouchers relied on the generosity of Spark staff who contributed $5 every payday for the scheme; this was matched by an equivalent donation from Spark Foundation, which meant that every staff member contributing to the scheme was effectively providing support for two families every month.  This support was highly valued by all our partners and hugely appreciated by the families who received the vouchers.  Unfortunately, many of the staff contributing to the scheme have left Spark and the volume of contributions have dropped markedly.  We are therefore unable to continue supplying complimentary vouchers to partners.

We are hoping to continue supplying a complimentary voucher to every family who completes the online survey and speed test when they get home, but even there we have encountered some problems. Each quarter, the supply of vouchers has been delayed as result of other pressures on the Spark Foundation team.  As a result we have not yet received supplies from the quarter ending 30 June 2019.  This has caused a backlog in posting out the vouchers, which in turn means that families are starting to ask about when they can expect them.  We have nearly 100 families waiting for their voucher.  Please ask them to be patient; we will honour our commitment to send them a voucher.

We take our hat off to one of our partners, Te Mana o Kupe in Porirua, who have identified a source of funds that enables their Trust to pay for complimentary vouchers.  We have prepared a custom voucher template for them, whereby they can purchase standard Skinny top-up vouchers for local dairies and then transfer the 12-digit top-up code to the voucher and then distribute to local JUMP families.  If any other partner has the resources to do this we are happy to share the voucher template and even add your logo, as we have done for Te Mana o Kupe.

Network Mode light stays red on JUMP modem!

We all know how sky colours determine the next day’s weather “Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight. Red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning”.  Red lightWell, we need something similar for JUMP modems, e.g. “Blue light on JUMP, tutor’s pump. Red light on JUMP, tutor’s hump.”  In other words, if the Network Mode light next to the white ‘on/off’ light stays red when the modem is powered up (it should change to blue), this means the modem is faulty and I don’t think there is anything you can do about it (apart from reporting this to Skinny, and they will send you a courier bag to send it for repair or recycling).  The photo below is what modems should look like within 20-30 seconds of being powered up.

Blue light

Otahuhu Library wins the Spark Foundation Morning Tea

Otahuhu Library has won the staff morning tea, sponsored by the Spark Foundation, by signing up 17 JUMP families during June.  Three partners did sign up more families than Otahuhu Library, but as they have already had a free morning tea this year, the prize goes to the partner with the next highest number.  But well done to all 48 partners who signed up families during June; 282 more families are now benefiting from an affordable home internet connection as a result of your efforts.

Glen Innes Library 33
Whanganui District Libraries 27
Kaitaia Library 23
Otahuhu Library 17
Mangere East Library 15
Te Matariki Clendon Community Library 11
Whanau Resource Centre Pukekohe 10
De Paul House 9
Sir Edmund Hillary Library (Papakura) 9
Central Hawkes Bay Libraries 8
Dunedin Public Library 8
Whangarei Library 8


Some families are spending too much on JUMP

About 10% JUMP families are spending more than they have to every month.  These families are spending between $200 and $250 on JUMP top-up vouchers every month, which is more than twice as much as they need to to get the same level of service.

Skinny’s unlimited fixed line plan starts at $73 per month, so any family using more than 210GB in any one month would be better off with a fixed line plan.  We recognise that families often choose JUMP because the service is ‘pre-pay’,  there is no term contract nor any penalties for early termination, and there is no cost to relocate to a new location.

DIAA is concerned that families don’t feel trapped without a proper understanding of other alternatives and we are seeking the support of our partners to help explain this.  Any family using more than 210GB in any one month, i.e. topping up with the JUMP $10/30GB plan more than once every week, would be better off to migrate to an unlimited broadband plan.

There may well be other reasons why families choose a pre-pay service, but we need to make an effort to alert them to available options.  For example, the Skinny website does provide two possible unlimited options for $73 per month:

  • Sign up for 12 months: $199 early termination fee
  • No Commitment: Pay for the modem ($99) and a one-off connection fee ($49)

Relocation fee: no charge if relocate no more than once every 6 months; $50 charge if relocate more frequently


Call Skinny for JUMP relocations

In August 2018 I published a blog post about the way to handle things when a family moves houses and takes their JUMP modem with them (which of course they can).  This process has now been simplified – there is no need to advise local delivery partners or DIAA.  Families should be advised to just call Skinny on 0800 475 4669 and the helpful Skinny team will provide any advice needed on 4G coverage at the new location, as well as update the family’s records.  That’s all it takes!

Of course partners can suggest to families that they check coverage at their new location themselves – this could save a bit of time and effort.  But the important thing is to ensure Skinny has the updated address.  This is especially important for families in temporary accommodation when they sign-up for JUMP – they must let Skinny know their new address when they move into more permanent accommodation.

Families who move to a new suburb or town without notifying Skinny are likely to get their service cut off as they will show up in a location breach report.  When this happens Skinny will attempt to contact the family to get their new address, but if for any reason they can’t make contact, the modem will be blocked and internet service denied.


Libraries invited to participate in digital inclusion survey

A new library research initiative by the Equity Through Education Research Centre at Massey University is underway and library managers and staff throughout New Zealand are invited to participate.  The research seeks to investigate the role of public libraries in promoting digital inclusion and overcoming the digital divide.

We encourage all DIAA library partners delivering Stepping UP or JUMP programmes to participate in these surveys:

Library staff survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LXJGTY7

Library Managers’ Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HRKDVMK

The research is being conducted by Dr Maggie Hartnett, Associate Professor Mandia Mentis, Associate Professor Alison Kearney, Dr Lucila Carvalho, and Dr Philippa Butler. Any questions about the research or about this survey should be referred to Maggie Hartnett, at m.hartnett@massey.ac.nz.