Support for CiH Families with Spark Phone connections

I am pleased to advise that we now have in place a mechanism for supporting internet connections for families with existing Spark telephone lines.  Since December 2014, it has been uneconomic for us to provide a SNAP Broadband DSL connection for families who have an existing telephone service from another provider (see separate blog post about this).

Spark has now provided us with a process that will allow us to top up a CiH family’s Spark account each month for 12 months, so we can make good on our promise to subsidise their connections.

Spark currently offers three ADSL Broadband + Landline plans:

40GB  $79/month

80GB $89/ month

Unlimited $99/month

Families in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch will be paying at least $50 per month ($53.50 per month in other areas) for their Spark landline, so the extra cost for the landline plus internet package is $25-$50, depending on the location and the package.  We can provide a $20 per month subsidy for 12 months, so that reduces the extra cost to families to $5 – $30 per month.  We should encourage families to start with the $79/month package with the data cap speed throttle option (see Additional Data Charges).  This would only cost them an additional $5/ month, which is an even better deal than our previous ADSL SNAP offer, which was four times this at $5/ week).  Or if they think they would really like more data, then even the unlimited package at $99/month would only cost them an additional $30 per month.

There is also the contract term to consider (see Minimum Contract Period and Early Termination Fees).  A modem is supplied with a 12 month contract, but then there are early termination fees.  We can supply a modem, so we should remove this from the equation.  Spark charges a set-up fee of $99, which is waived for 6 and 12-month contracts.  My suggestion is that we advise families to enter into 6-month contracts; they would incur a $99 penalty if they terminate before the 6 months is up.

In terms of operational mechanics we will need the following details in order to set up an automatic topup of Spark accounts ( I can just sense your excitement at the prospect of some more google doc columns!)

Spark Account name

Spark Telephone number

Spark Account Number

All these details are printed on the monthly Spark invoice, so it probably makes sense to ask families to provide us with a copy of a recent Spark invoice.  We also need evidence that the family has in fact upgraded to an ADSL Broadband + Landline package, so families should be encouraged to do this during training and present a Spark Invoice before graduation.  We can then date our subsidy to start from the date they upgraded.