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Libraries boost home connections to low-cost online access

Tuesday, March 31, 2020   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: technology, disease, accessibility, lockdown

Christchurch City Council Newsline: 31st March 2020

Christchurch City Libraries (CCL) is helping families and individuals get online at home.

CCL has teamed up with Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa (DIAA) to support those people who do not have a broadband connection and are eligible for the subsidised Skinny Jump service.

Skinny Jump aims to bridge the digital divide by offering flexible, low-cost, pre-paid broadband access, with no contracts. It costs $5 for 30GB of data, and the modem is free of charge. Families can “top up” as needed, similar to a pre-paid phone.

Christchurch City Council Head of Libraries and Information Carolyn Robertson says local libraries will provide over-the-phone support through their call centre for those wanting to sign up.

“Many local Skinny Jump partners have closed temporarily because of the COVID-19 shutdown. So we have stepped up to help guide people in our local communities through the sign-up process, along with providing ongoing support on internet use,” Ms Robertson says.

“It has never been more important to stay connected with our whānau and wider community, and to support our children through access to online learning.”

Skinny Jump is available through a community partnership network – overseen by DIAA – to ensure that as many people as possible have access to the internet via a low-cost service.

“We want to help out anyone who does not have internet access – from families to individuals, older people to those with disabilities, and members of our migrant communities to those living in social housing,” Ms Robertson says.

“So if cost remains a barrier in your home, you may be eligible for this subsidised service that will help you stay connected and also support your family during a difficult period.”

Local people who do not already have internet access can contact Christchurch City Libraries at 03 941 7923 to find out more. Libraries staff can also check that the Skinny Jump network provides coverage in each area.

You can also register your interest by completing an online form - if you have internet access via a smartphone.

Get more information on the Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa.

Find out more about Skinny Jump.