Connecting us in crisis

by Andy Bryenton

For information, entertainment, connectivity and social contact despite the need to be physically isolated, the internet has proven invaluable during the coronavirus lockdown. 

With weeks still to go before it’s time to commence life, as usual, those without access to this important network will be feeling its absence. That’s why our libraries and Skinny Mobile are offering to link up unconnected homes cheaply and easily with a couriered-out connection pack. 

An expansion of their programme launched earlier in 2020 to help connect students from families with low incomes, the Jump package is now available to anyone who is currently not connected to the net, and will see a free WiFi modem loaded with 30GB of data sent to applicants’ homes via secure courier. 

“Online connection is more important than ever. Kaipara Libraries are proud to partner with Skinny Jump and Stepping Up to help get broadband into households without internet,” said library staff. 

“If you need help setting up once you receive your modem, you can call us at the library on 0800 532 542. It is also the number to call if you can’t access the net, even on a mobile phone, to apply for the Skinny jump package.” 

The delivered modem comes with easy to follow instructions to get your phone, tablet, laptop or PC onto the net to access entertainment, health advice, community news and more during the lockdown. Those who wish to keep up with the service after the lockdown will be able to top up their modem with prepay. The Jump system will work anywhere with sufficient coverage; main civic areas and towns are mostly covered, but some rural areas are not. 

The only way to be sure is online, so if it’s possible to get a friend or relative to check for you, call them and ask them to visit skinny.co.nz/jump/home/#availability. This site will ask for the address where you want to install internet. You may be able to do this using data on your existing phone. If you get the green light for coverage, you can register here: bit.ly/2xnSklz.