The following organisations have also joined the initiative and are nominating families that are a part of their respective systems.
To boost education opportunities and narrow the digital divide, the Australian Government is providing up to 30,000 eligible families with no internet at home a free National Broadband Network (NBN) service. Originally a 12 month commitment, the initiative has been extended meaning:
- The period in which a family can nominate to receive a free service is up to 31 December 2024.
- The duration of free services will continue until 31 December 2025 for all existing and new families.
The Government has invested $8.8 million to support NBN Co's implementation and delivery of this targeted affordability measure. This includes an additional $4.3 million from the 2023–24 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) to extend the free services to 31 December 2025.
What is the eligibility criteria for the initiative?
To be eligible, a family must:
- Have a child living at home that is enrolled in an Australian school.
- Have no active broadband service over the NBN network.
- Live in a premise where they can access a standard NBN service.
- Not have had an active NBN service during the previous 14 days.
Families can directly contact the National Referral Centre to have their eligibility assessed or be referred by a participating nominating organisation.
How can I check my eligibility?
To check your eligibility, follow these simple steps.
- Contact the National Referral Centre, operated by Anglicare Victoria, on 1800 954 610 (Mon–Fri, 10am–6pm AEDT), www.anglicarevic.org.au/student-internet.
- The National Referral Centre team will help assess your eligibility for the SSBI, by checking several things including your residential address and current financial situation.
- If eligible, you will be issued a voucher which can be redeemed at any of the participating SSBI retail service providers. The National Referral Centre will also be available to assist with contacting your SSBI retail service provider of choice and providing follow-up support.
What other organisations are participating in the initiative to identify and nominate families?
- Argyle Housing
- Blackheath Area Neighbourhood Centre
- CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes
- Evolve Housing
- Housing Trust
- Junaya Family Development Services
- Kings Langley Public School
- Mountains Youth Services
- NSW Council of Social Services
- Pacific Link Housing
- Port Stephens Family and Neighbourhood House
- South Eastern Community Connect
- Think + Do Tank Foundation
In addition to the above organisations, Federal Members of Parliament and Senators are able to identify and nominate eligible families.
What types of NBN services are provided under the initiative?
A number of retail service providers have committed to providing free NBN services to families under this initiative: Activ8me, Aussie Broadband, Belong (Telstra), Exetel, Lemonade Broadband (Connected Australia), SkyMesh, Superloop and Vodafone (TPG).
The national initiative provides 50 megabits per second (Mbps) fixed-line services, Fixed-Wireless Plus and Sky Muster Plus services, depending on where the family lives, with large or unlimited data quotas.More information is available on NBN Co's website.
When will free services commence?
Free services under the initiative commenced in Term One in 2023. Free services run from the date of activation to 31 December 2025.
Are devices included in the initiative?
Devices such as phones, tablets or computers are not included as part of the initiative. A router/modem will be provided to families by their chosen participating internet service provider to connect them to the NBN.
SSBI and scams
Scammers may try using the SSBI to impersonate a participating entity, such as NBN Co, to extort money. It's important to know that you will never be contacted and asked to provide bank details or to pay money to participate in SSBI by NBN Co. If you receive a suspicious phone call, report it immediately to the ACCC's Scamwatch website.