INDEPENDENT NEWS

Spark Removes Broadband Data Caps & Boosts Not-for-profit Service Nationally To Support Kiwis Through Extended Lockdown

Published: Mon 23 Aug 2021 08:08 PM
Spark today confirmed it will be waiving data overage charges for all customers who are on data-capped fixed and wireless broadband plans[1] and are at risk of not being able to stay connected if they can’t afford to go over their existing data limits or are not currently able to upgrade to uncapped in their area.
This applies to both consumer and small and medium business customers and will commence from Wednesday, 25 August, and continue until we move out of Alert Level 4. Spark will also increase the daily data allowance for its customers on Skinny Jump, its not-for-profit broadband service aimed at bridging the digital divide.
Spark Customer Director, Grant McBeath, said: “We understand that with the extended lockdown our customers will need more data to continue working, learning, and connecting from home, and we hope that by removing data caps we can help Kiwis to adapt to our latest Covid-19 curveball. We also have a number of support options available for those experiencing financial hardship.”
Spark customers are reminded that traffic will be monitored and managed to ensure fair use, and to maintain the operational performance of our wireless network. Customers who are consuming extreme amounts of data will be contacted by us, and where the need arises, we will utilise traffic management to limit congestion – resulting in slower speeds for customers, particularly during peak periods of the day. These measures are necessary to manage congestion due to the record levels of traffic being experienced and to ensure that all our customers get the best experience possible.
Grant continued: “The traffic running over our networks at the moment is the highest we have ever experienced – including during our last lockdown. We are responding by rolling out upgrades to our mobile network where it is needed, and it is possible to do so.”
Spark has over 16,000 households connected to Skinny Jump, its not-for-profit wireless broadband service, after experiencing a significant increase in demand during the country’s first Level 4 lockdown in 2020. From Wednesday, 25 August, Jump will come with an additional 6GB daily data bonus on weekdays, from 9.00am-3.30pm, to support families to work and study during these times.
For customers experiencing financial hardship as a result of Covid-19, Spark has a number of support packages in place to help through its Financial Hardship Policy.
Grant finished: “We hope that the removal of broadband data caps, our wide range of broadband plans that cater to different budgets, our Financial Hardship Policy, and our not-for-profit broadband service Skinny Jump, will help provide some relief for Kiwis as we navigate lockdown once again.”
[1] Removal of overage charges only applies to customers who incur overage charges as part of their broadband plans, the removal of overage charges will not prevent Unplan broadband customers from being charged for the higher tiers if they use more.

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