Closing digital divide for Bay students

Families with children up to the age of 18 and no current broadband connection are eligible for subsidised broadband. File photo.

More Tauranga students will have the opportunity to develop their digital skills thanks to subsidised broadband being provided by The Spark Foundation and 20/20 Trust.

As classroom learning goes digital, students without broadband at home are at risk of being left behind.

Spark Jump enables more students to go online outside of classroom hours and get on the right side of the digital divide.

Families with children up to the age of 18 and no current broadband connection are eligible for the programme.

They will receive a modem and a wireless broadband connection and pay $10 for 30GB with no fixed term contract. 

As a pre-pay service, the modem can be topped up at any time in the same way as pre-pay mobile phones.

In Tauranga, families can get set up with the home internet connection by attending a Spark Jump session at Greerton Library.

Greerton Library will help families set up and manage their internet connections.

Carolyne Taylor, learning centre tutor at Greerton Library says Spark Jump will help close the skills gap between families who can afford home broadband and those who can't.

"Access to the internet is really important to get our children better placed to do amazing things in school and later in life,” says Carolyne. “We know that for some families, home broadband is not affordable and Spark Jump will help more children participate in the digital world.”

Spark Foundation partners with community-based organisations like 20/20 Trust to deliver wireless broadband to families without internet.

The Trust is active in communities around the country and collaborates with local partners to select families for the programme based on the eligibility criteria set by the Spark Foundation and the intent to support education. 

Spark Foundation general manager Lynne Le Gros is pleased the partnership with 20/20 Trust is expanding the reach of Spark Jump to reach more families at risk of being digitally excluded. 

“We're pleased to serve communities around the country with a truly useful product like subsidised broadband. We're excited to see Spark Jump turn more homes into digital learning environments and enable more students to thrive in the digital world,” says Ms. Le Gros. 

For more information on when the Spark Jump sessions are being held contact the Tauranga library on 07 577 7177



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The moon peeping through the clouds at Pillans Point. Photo: Mike Berry.

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