THE HON STEPHEN JONES MP
MINISTER FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES
MEMBER FOR WHITLAM
THE HON MICHELLE ROWLAND MP
MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS
With the return of the 2024 school year fast approaching, local families in the Illawarra and Southern Highlands are being encouraged to check if they are eligible for free home broadband through the Albanese Government’s School Student Broadband Initiative (SSBI).
The Government is investing $8.8 million to connect up to 30,000 eligible families with school-aged children to the NBN across the country.
The affordability initiative has been extended through to 31 December 2025, meaning even more families can benefit from a free home broadband connection for longer.
Currently, over 6,000 households have already been connected to free internet through the SSBI, and a further 18,000 vouchers have been issued to eligible families to get connected.
To be eligible, a family must:
- Have a child living at home and enrolled in an Australian school;
- Have no active home broadband service over the NBN network;
- Live in premises that can access a standard NBN service.
Families interested in the SSBI can contact the National Referral Centre on 1800 954 610 (Mon-Fri, 10am-6pm AEDT) to have their eligibility assessed.
The Government is considering options to further support participating families at the end of 2025, including asking the NBN Low-Income and Digital Inclusion Forum to examine discounted products.
For more information on the SSBI, visit: www.infrastructure.gov.au/SSBI
Quotes attributable to Member for Whitlam Stephen Jones:
“Fast and reliable internet is a must these days, particularly for students engaging in online learning. Younger Australians rely on digital technology for learning, so it’s important they are able to access a high quality NBN connection for their studies and online social activities.
“I know how hard it is for local families at the moment. Our Government is committed to addressing the cost of living and I encourage those eligible to apply for this initiative.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland:
“As students around Australia prepare to go back to school, it is essential they have access to reliable, fast home broadband to fully engage in online learning and connect with teachers and peers.
“Not only does this initiative support educational outcomes, it benefits entire households who can access essential digital services like telehealth and banking from home.
The School Student Broadband Initiative is another example of the Albanese Government helping families struggling with the cost of living whilst narrowing the digital divide.”