A big part of making progress on the road to digital inclusion is equal access, 20/20 Trust and Spark having been taking steps to ensure all New Zealanders can come along on that journey.
Having broadband in the home is becoming a bigger part of keeping up with today's learning environment. Making sure students can get online at home is a key part in keeping kids on the right side of the digital divide.
A new Spark Jump community in Massey hopes to make a difference for the students and families in the area. Families with school-aged children in the area will now be able to receive a modem and wireless broadband connection for $15 a month.
Once access is established, competence using digital technologies is the next step toward inclusion. Digital literacy programmes run out of community hubs hope to close the digital divide.
Colwill school is the latest of these community hubs to be launched. Housed in Colwill School's learning centre, the hub will enable their community to set up and manage their internet connections.
Colwill Community Hub coordinator Nicola Adam says closing the skill gap is important, especially for those who can't afford these technologies usually.
“Access to the internet is critical in getting all our children better placed to succeed in school and later in life.
“We know that one of the challenges of getting home broadband is affordability and Spark Jump will help more families in Massey open the door to the digital world for their children.
Spark GM Lynne Le Gros says they are excited to be able to offer these services to New Zealand communities, and work with 20/20 Trust to combat digital exclusion.
“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 in Massey into digital learning environments and enable more students to thrive in the digital world.
Massey is the latest of many areas to get subsidised broadband coverage, see if your school area could be next and get involved.