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Connected Whanau

One issue that arose for us with our Computers in Homes (see Computers in Homes write up under goal 4 - http://mantar.wikispaces.com/Somerset+Cres+3+and+4 programme earlier this year was when it came time to connect the 14 families to the internet. Many of our families do not have land lines and only use their cell phones for financial reasons. Not many of them were keen to set up home landline accounts due to the costs involved - fair enough.

After a few options being presented and support from the CIH coordinators, we came up with a solution thanks to a local firm Inspire Net (owned by a Dad in our school). They were able to offer our parents a prepaid wireless option to their house. This means that they can pay for their internet useage when they need to and/or can afford to. They can also choose to stop payment and just not receive net access while times are stretched financially. Most of the families involved took up this option.

There were/are some initial set up issues mainly involving gaining permission from landlords to erect the aerials on houses and also some houses needing special antenna put up in high places that require council permission - fancy that taking a long time to gain! However, most families are now all go or very close to it and very happy with the fact that in 6 months (CIH pays for the first 6 months internet connection), they won't suddenly be landed with extra bills to pay.

It was a fairly large scale initiative and the first time CIH has gone this way, but fantastic that we now have more of our whanau connected than before!



  • Lyn Ross

    This summary is awesome Tony ... and a great example of 'for every problem there is a solution'.  I'm sure your post will be useful to many schools.