New initiative will deliver free broadband access for disadvantaged students
The Albanese Government will provide up to 30,000 Australian families with no internet at home free broadband for one year, as part of our plan for a better National Broadband Network (NBN).
The School Student Broadband Initiative (SSBI) will provide the opportunity for eligible school students to benefit from fast internet at home to support their education.
Those working closest with families and students, including State and Territory education bodies, selected charities and community organisations, will identify families and support them to access the free service. The Smith Family, Catholic Network Australia, and Catholic Education WA have already joined the initiative, with more expected to take part over the coming weeks.
To enable free services for families, NBN Co is providing participating internet providers with rebates under the SSBI. Aussie Broadband, Belong (Telstra) Exetel, Field Solutions Group, Launtel, Lemonade Broadband (Connected Australia), SkyMesh, Superloop and Vodafone (TPG) have signed up to the SSBI.
NBN Co is implementing this target affordability initiative with the support of a $4.5 million commitment in the October 2022-23 Federal Budget.
The one-year of free services begins from the day the service is activated, with the first families to be connected during term one.
The SSBI is part of the Albanese Government’s commitment to narrow the digital divide, including by making full-fibre NBN access available to an additional 1.5 million premises – 660,000 of which will be in regional areas – and working to support First Nations Australians digital inclusion through the formation of the First Nations Digital Inclusion Advisory Group.
For more information on the SSBI, visit www.infrastructure.gov.au/ssbi
Quotes attributable to Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP:
“The Albanese Government is committed to narrowing the digital divide – including in our classrooms.
“The pandemic demonstrated how important it is for students to be connected at home so they don’t fall behind.
“The Government’s School Student Broadband Initiative will provide up to 30,000 families and their children a free home broadband connection so they can reach their full potential.
"Whilst many students can access the internet through school Wi-Fi, connecting the internet at home to support remote learning and homework is a serious affordability issue for some families. This initiative will relieve some of the barriers to students fully participating in educational opportunities.
“I am confident we can deliver real outcomes for so many students and give them the tools they need to succeed in the classroom and beyond.”