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A subsidised broadband internet programme offered through the Oamaru Public Library is having positive impact in the Waitaki district, librarian Debbie Price-Ewen says.

The Oamaru Public Library’s partnership with Spark to offer “Spark Jump” – a service subsidised by the Spark Foundation to help children develop their digital skills – is now in its third year.

For the past two years, families with children up to the age of 18 and no current broadband connection have been eligible to get a free modem with 30GB of preloaded data through the Spark Foundation.

Once the preloaded data is used up, families can continue on a subsidised wireless Skinny broadband connection and pay $10 for every 30GB with no fixed-term contract.

Mrs Price-Ewen, the Waitaki district libraries reference and digital services librarian, said 68 families with school-aged children had taken advantage of the programme through the Oamaru Public Library so far.

“All families that we have joined up have continued with the subsidised scheme, which has been a lifesaver for their children’s education,” she said.

“Over the past two years we have seen really good uptake.

“It’s hugely popular and super helpful.”

To find out if you are eligible for Spark Jump, visit the Oamaru Public Library in Thames St or call 03 433-0850.