New Zealand telco Spark has announced it will re-launch its subsidised broadband service ‘to help bridge the digital divide in New Zealand’. The not-for-profit service, dubbed ‘Skinny Jump’, will officially launch on 25 March, although Spark is accelerating its rollout plans in response to increased demand following the coronavirus outbreak. The pre-paid service costs NZD5 (USD2.83) for 30GB of data (with the option to renew up to five times a month) and comes with a free wireless broadband modem.
In a press release, Spark noted that 2018 census data from Statistics New Zealand reveals 211,000 homes around the country have no access to broadband, with cost considered to be the major barrier. Initially launched in 2016 for families with school-aged children, Skinny Jump is a collaboration between Spark, the Spark Foundation, the telco’s mobile sub-brand Skinny, and a network of community organisations around New Zealand.