As New Zealand works to stop the spread of COVID-19 we are doing our bit to keep our people safe and help our customers stay connected in quickly evolving circumstances.
We will provide updates for our customers on this page as the situation evolves.
Updated on 25th March 2020
We realise there might be a lot more home broadband use over the next little while. So to help our customers stay connected, we’re giving all Wireless 4G Broadband Plans (excludes Skinny Jump plans) an extra 60GB over the next two months (that's 120GB total).
The extra data will be applied to all eligible Wireless 4G Broadband Plans between 23 March and 22 May 2020. It will automatically be applied to the account - once on 23 March and again on 23 April.
These measures will be introduced on Monday 23 March 2020 for an initial 60 day period, to ensure Skinny customers are not disconnected.
According to 2018 census data from Statistics New Zealand, 211,000 homes around the country still don’t have access to broadband. Research from Internet NZ indicates that cost is the biggest barrier to this access. With the fast-developing COVID-19 situation, this issue is more pronounced than ever.
Prior to the onset of the pandemic, we were in the process of relaunching our subsidised and not-for-profit broadband product Skinny Jump – which aims to bridge the digital divide for New Zealanders who don’t have access to broadband at home.
Since we first launched the service in 2016 we have connected close to 5,000 families with school-aged children to broadband.
The Skinny Jump service is available through a community partner network, which is overseen by Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa (DIAA) and includes 130 contact points nationwide spanning community libraries and budgeting services, amongst others.
Skinny Jump will now be available to a wider range of people who find that cost is a barrier to having a broadband connection at home – including families with school aged children, job seekers, senior citizens, refugees, new migrants, people with disabilities and people living in social housing.
The service is provided for $5 for 30GB of data (with the option to renew up to five times a month), and comes with a free Wireless Broadband modem. It is entirely prepaid, so there are no long-term contracts or credit checks needed.
All it takes to get set up is to register through a partner and plug in the modem. Read more about Skinny Jump
*Due to the recent COVID-19 situation, many local Jump partners have closed temporarily. However some are now working on a phone based sign-up approach and these details have been updated on the Skinny Jump website. If you currently do not have a broadband connection at home, please visit www.skinny.co.nz/jump to check your address and find the details of your nearest local partner to get set up.
We use Spark’s network, and because Spark have invested in increased network capacity, we are confident we can manage a significant increase in network traffic as a result of people being at home. However there may be times when the service is slower than usual.
As such, we have robust plans in place to ensure we can continue to provide services and support to New Zealand in all Alert Levels of COVID-19. As a technology company we are well positioned to support our people working remotely.
Working with industry to support New Zealand
At times like this we can do more as a collective than we can on our own. As we have done during past crisis situations and natural disasters, we will work with our industry colleagues to ensure we provide New Zealanders with a resilient network and the connectivity they need to work, learn and connect.
How are we keeping our people safe?
We have comprehensive protocols in place to protect our people.
With New Zealand at Alert Level 4, the vast majority of our people, outside our specialist and business-critical functions, are now working from home.
For those who must work from site to continue providing our essential services, we continue to follow, advice from the Ministry of Health around social distancing and strict hygiene protocols.
Getting the best out of your home internet network
Due to COVID-19, Kiwis will be spending more time working or learning at home. New Zealand’s broadband networks will be able to handle the increased demand, but it is important that you ensure that your home network is up to scratch. Tips on how to get the best out of your home internet network.
What you should do if you're booking a home visit
We’re doing everything we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to keep our people safe. If you need to book an appointment which requires a technician to visit your home, please only do so if you and those in your household are feeling well. As long as you haven’t been overseas in the last 14 days, are not in self-isolation or in the process of being tested for Coronavirus then we are happy to schedule a visit.
To protect our people, and in accordance with the NZ Government guidelines, we’ll need to ask about any recent international travel and any potential exposure you or your household may have had to the virus. We will only use the information that you provide to help us keep our employees and customers safe.
Of course, our technicians will also confirm the same details regarding their own health and travel, so you can also have peace of mind.
We are encouraging all our customers to make sure they have downloaded or updated the Skinny app. The Skinny website has lots of info & self-service options, too. Our online chat service is a pretty great tool www.skinny.co.nz/help
We’ll be keeping our Skinny Facebook page full of information too.