From today, nearly 25,000 Skinny Jump customers get a monthly boost of up to 40% more data. The new monthly maximum is 225GB (up from 165GB), reflecting the ever-increasing usage of the internet by New Zealand households.
What is not changing is the unique pre-pay approach used by Jump customers. Users can still purchase data in $5 lots; the difference is that $5 now buys 35GB data (instead of 30GB). From 1 June, all Jump customers will also be able to top-up six times each month (previously this was limited to five times).
The other good news is that the free 15GB monthly top-up is here to stay.
Martin La’a, who leads the Skinny Jump team at Spark, points out that around 15% of Jump customers never use more than 15GB each month. “For some whānau, cost is a prohibitive barrier to internet access, the 15GB free data helps whānau do some of the necessities online (ie paying bills, job searching, homework etc) without the worry of whether they can top up that month”.
Skinny Jump is distributed by a national network of over 300 community organisations, including 176 public libraries. The distribution of Jump modems through this network is managed by the Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa (DIAA), in partnership with Skinny and the Spark Foundation.
Laurence Zwimpfer, Director of Operations for DIAA, explained that the reason for using local community partners is that they can provide additional support to help Jump customers activate their modems and learn how to manage the top-up process. “The people we aim to support are those who are the most digitally disadvantaged and the one thing they really appreciate is help from someone they trust.”
Jump customers are also asked to return their modems to their nearest Jump partner when they no longer need them. Most modems can be re-set remotely and re-issued in less than 24 hours.
“This is why we particularly value libraries as Jump partners; wireless modems like Jump are just like library books – when you finish reading a book, you return it to the library, where someone else can borrow it,” said Mr Zwimpfer.
Demand for Skinny Jump continues to grow at around 1000 new sign-ups every month. People interested in finding out more about this service should first check that their house has 4G wireless coverage and that there is capacity on their nearest cell tower. This is easy to do by entering your address into the Skinny Jump address checker at https://www.skinny.co.nz/jump/home/. If there is coverage, you will be directed to the nearest Jump partner to get a modem and sign-up for the service.