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BDFL - Memuneh
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#268418 18-Mar-2020 13:20
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Just received:

 

 

Spark today announced that in response to the COVID-19 pandemic it will help its customers stay connected as they transition to new ways of working, learning and connecting, and accelerate its existing initiative to bridge the digital divide. 

 

This will include the following measures, which will be introduced on Monday 23 March 2020 for an initial 60-day period, to ensure Spark customers are not disconnected:

 

- Removing overage charges for customers who are on data-capped broadband plans and are therefore at risk of losing access if they go over their existing data limits. This applies to both small and medium business and consumer customers;
- When a Spark customer is experiencing hardship because of COVID-19, for the next 60 days Spark will waive late fees and will not terminate service.

 

If our customers are experiencing hardship, they should get in touch to discuss their individual circumstances and available options.

 

Spark will also continue its work to connect New Zealanders who are currently digitally excluded by relaunching its subsidised and not-for-profit broadband product Jump at a lower price and for a wider range of people who do not currently have access to broadband at home. 

 

Spark will actively monitor its network to manage traffic and ensure a good experience for all its customers as it makes these changes[1].

 

CEO Jolie Hodson said this is the right thing to do in these challenging times.

 

“We are facing an unprecedented situation as a country, as COVID-19 is challenging all New Zealanders to work, learn and connect in different ways. We recognise that our customers will be increasingly working from home, in self-isolation or social distancing, and making sure they have access to enough data will help them remain connected with family, friends and colleagues.

 

“We also recognise that a number of New Zealanders are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19, so this is about taking some immediate action to alleviate undue stress.

 

“Prior to the onset of COVID-19 we were in the process of relaunching our subsidised and not-for-profit broadband product as 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 Jump in 2016 we have connected close to 5,000 families with school-aged children to broadband.

 

“Skinny Jump will be even more affordable and open to a wider range of New Zealanders who experience digital exclusion, beyond those with young families.”

 

Jolie also noted the importance of industry working together on solutions to support New Zealand as the COVID-19 situation develops.

 

“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 Zealand with a resilient network and the connectivity it needs.

 

“Our industry body, The New Zealand Telecommunications Forum, has commenced a process of regular coordination meetings so that industry can work together and with Government to determine the most appropriate course of action to support New Zealand and to share resources and logistics where needed.”

 

Today’s announcement follows confirmation yesterday that Spark Sport would open its platform up to all New Zealanders for no charge until May 2020.

 





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  #2440685 18-Mar-2020 13:33
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Nice to see companies stepping up. Kudos Spark





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  #2440687 18-Mar-2020 13:38
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Top work by Spark, good going and thank you. 





The little things make the biggest difference.


 
 
 
 


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  #2440731 18-Mar-2020 15:01
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@Hio77 does this mean the 300GB clause on the wireless unplan plan, will be waived over the next little while?


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  #2440740 18-Mar-2020 15:10
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Top stuff, Spark. I was already impressed with the Spark Jump $10 for 30GB, but bringing it down to $5 is amazing.

 

Is there anything else the GZ community can do to help in these complicated times? I'd certainly be happy to chuck some money in a hat or donate older devices that could be used to get kids online and learning if isolation is required.


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  #2440747 18-Mar-2020 15:17
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Great response to a national emergency.

 

Well done Spark. 


'That VDSL Cat'
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  #2440748 18-Mar-2020 15:19
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johny99:

 

@Hio77 does this mean the 300GB clause on the wireless unplan plan, will be waived over the next little while?

 

 

oh Johny, you love to ask the Difficult ones.

 

 

 

Yes, we won't be enforcing the 300GB Clause in this time, same goes for other Unplan/Flexible Broadband service types that have such Soft caps.





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Any comments made are personal opinion and do not reflect directly on the position my current or past employers may have.

 


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  #2440761 18-Mar-2020 15:40
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It should be noted that this is a product/billing temporary change. If for any reason network utilisation goes totally nuts (on fixed or mobile), we have at our disposal mechanisms to ensure reasonable and fair performance for all people on particular bits of shared infrastructure - this would only be used in cases where exceptional use was impacting performance of others.

 

TL;DR - don't go trying to set records on FWA please.. That would be a [takes hat off that I am not allowed to officially wear anyway] "dick move"... [puts hat back on].

 

Cheers - N

 

 

 

 





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Please note all comments are the product of my own brain and don't necessarily represent the position or opinions of my employer, previous employers, colleagues, friends or pets.


 
 
 
 


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  #2440762 18-Mar-2020 15:43
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Does it include rural wireless?

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  #2440799 18-Mar-2020 16:53
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myfullflavour: Does it include rural wireless?

 

Yes, Neil has covered the catches very well though.

 

 

 

Point is to help folk, not break anything - leave that to your Fibre or DSL lines





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  #2440829 18-Mar-2020 18:42
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Never heard of this before today, such a good idea providing what is considered an essential service in a number of countries below cost. Does Spark work with the Ministry of Education to reach as many households as possible or via other partners?


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  #2440831 18-Mar-2020 18:46
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loceff13:

Never heard of this before today, such a good idea providing what is considered an essential service in a number of countries below cost. Does Spark work with the Ministry of Education to reach as many households as possible or via other partners?


Spark jump (now skinny jump) has been a staple offering for quite awhile. There are conditions for it, simply to ensure it goes to the right homes.

It isn't a free ride, it's there to help those who truly do not have the funds for a full connection.
I've always been impressed by their efforts.




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  #2447251 26-Mar-2020 15:10
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Just received:

 

 

Spark today confirmed that it had repurposed 39 retail stores to act as no-contact emergency distribution centres for essential hardware provision during New Zealand’s COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lock-down. The centres will be up and running from tomorrow, Friday March 27.

 

As a lifeline utility, Spark will continue to provide essential services to its customers during all Alert Levels. These emergency distribution centres ensure that in the event of a hardware fault, no existing Spark customer is completely cut off from essential communication services such as phone or broadband during the lock-down.

 

Emergency distribution centres will remain closed to foot traffic, and will only provide essential services to existing customers with pre-booked appointments. The centres will operate for a short window of time, 7 days a week and with clearly marked security cameras operating outside the front of every store.

 

Essential services include the following:

 

  • SIM swap
  • Handset – new or replacement
  • Broadband modem – new, swap, replace

From Friday, the process for utilising this service is as follows:

 

     

  1. The Spark customer experiencing an essential service fault or issue contacts Spark’s contact centre team on 123 to lodge the hardware fault or request.
  2. This request is then routed to the customer’s closest distribution site.
  3. The team member working in that site would contact the customer to confirm and provision the order and then schedule a designated pick-up time. The customer would pay for the service at this time over the phone or online.
  4. The customer would then visit the store at the designated time with photo ID, which would be held up to the window for the Spark team member to check.
  5. The Spark team member would then leave the product in a bag outside the door for the customer.

 

Spark Customer Director, Grant McBeath, says that these robust processes have been put in place to protect the health of Spark’s people and customers in unprecedented times.

 

“We believe this approach protects our people and allows us to fulfil our obligations as an essential service for our customers while also upholding the Government’s Alert Level 4 protocols. Our aim is to ensure our customers remain connected to family and friends, and able to work from home, at a time when this is so critical,” says McBeath.

 

The number of emergency distribution centres required will be reviewed on an ongoing basis during the four-week period.

 

Spark is also currently creating a hotline that customers will be able to contact us on, to help with queries that would usually require an in-store visit. This hotline queue will be staffed by our retail team members.

 

Like its retail stores, Spark Business Hubs are closed to foot traffic for the duration of Alert Level 4, but where possible our teams are working remotely to support our customers. Business customers who need support are advised to call 0800 Business or book a call online.

 





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