More school kids to be connected to free internet through SSBI

The Australian Government’s ongoing rollout of the School Student Broadband Initiative (SSBI) has connected around 3,000 families with school students across the country to 12 months of free NBN.

As families face ongoing cost of living pressures, the initiative is helping to narrow the digital divide, promote greater inclusion for disadvantaged families and support the education of children – regardless of their circumstances.

Funded through the October 2022-23 Budget, the SSBI identifies eligible families through partnering with nominating organisations who work with vulnerable communities.


NBN Co is leading the implementation of the initiative. To be eligible, a family must:

  • Have a child living at home that is enrolled in an Australian school in 2023.
  • Be referred by a nominating organisation.
  • Have no active broadband service over the NBN network.
  • Live in a premises where they can access a standard NBN service.

Once a family is found eligible for the SSBI, they are issued with a unique voucher, which can be redeemed with one of the participating internet providers. The one-year of free home internet begins from the day the service is activated.

The initiative can support up to 30,000 families across the country, with more than 20,000 vouchers for free connections issued by NBN Co so far to nominating agencies and eligible families.

To ensure as many families as possible have the chance to benefit, the period in which a family can be nominated for the initiative has been extended to 30 April 2024.


For more information on SSBI visit


Quotes attributable to Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP:


“In 2023, reliable, quality, high speed internet is not a luxury or a nice-to-have – it’s essential, including for our young people and school students.


“It’s great to be here at YWCA, Canberra, today – one of the brilliant SSBI nominating bodies who connect us with the families who can really benefit from this program.


“Our Government understands that cost of living pressures can exacerbate digital exclusion, and we are determined that no one be left behind.


“The SSBI continues our commitment to narrowing the digital divide and promoting equitable access by reducing the affordability barriers families may face to access an increasingly online world.”

Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, and Employment, the Hon Andrew Leigh MP:

“The Australian Government recognises how vital Australian charities are in building stronger, fairer communities that are better places to live.


"By assisting vulnerable Australians access internet services through the School Student Broadband Initiative, the YWCA is helping to build a more connected Canberra community.


"Charities like the YWCA deserve support and recognition, so they can continue supporting others.”