Free NBN for disadvantaged students

Wednesday, 06 September, 2023

Free NBN for disadvantaged students

A free NBN connection will be provided for 12 months to Queensland families with school-aged students who do not have broadband at home.

This is part of the federal government’s ongoing rollout of the School Student Broadband Initiative (SSBI).

Funded through the October 2022–23 Budget to narrow the digital divide, promote greater inclusion for disadvantaged families and support the education of children, the SSBI identifies eligible families through approved nominating organisations who work with vulnerable communities.

The Queensland Department of Education has now joined as a nominating organisation and is playing a key role in rolling out the SSBI to its students who are without broadband at home.

“This initiative will provide more Queenslanders with access to broadband at home, enhancing their ability to learn and complementing our $190 million partnership with Telstra to make internet speeds 200 times faster in schools,” said Grace Grace, Queensland Minister for Education.

“It is crucial that we don’t leave the next generation behind due to a lack of connectivity, and I look forward to seeing the benefits this new partnership will bring.”

The Department is also working with The Smith Family to reach additional families who may benefit.

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 will be issued with a unique voucher, which they can redeem with one of the participating internet providers. The one year of free home internet begins from the day the service is activated.

“Reliable, quality, high-speed internet is not a luxury or a nice-to-have. It is essential 21st-century infrastructure and that will only become more important as young Queenslanders grow up,” said Michelle Rowland, Minister for Communications.

The SSBI is supporting up to 30,000 families across the country and has now connected over 2500 families.

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