Up to 30,000 Families to Receive Free NBN For a Year

Up to 30,000 Families to Receive Free NBN For a Year

The federal government wants to provide families without internet free NBN for a year. It’s part of a new program called the School Student Broadband Initiative, one that our Prime Minister first flagged as a priority back in 2021.

The School Student Broadband Initiative, while a mouthful to say, is a brilliant initiative. It’s hoping to secure NBN connectivity for up to 30,000 families.

According to Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland, the School Student Broadband Initiative will “relieve some of the barriers to students fully participating in educational opportunities and help to bridge Australia’s digital divide”.

The School Student Broadband Initiative will provide 50Mbps fixed-line services, Fixed-Wireless Plus and Sky Muster Plus services, depending on where the family lives, with large or unlimited data quotas.

The initiative comes at a cost of $4.5 million to the government, via a grant situation that was first detailed in the federal Budget back in October. It’s not completely clear how the grants will work, but to make the School Student Broadband Initiative happen, a number of retail service providers (RSPs) have committed to providing free NBN services to families.

On board so far is Aussie Broadband, Belong (which is owned by Telstra), Exetel, Field Solutions Group, Launtel, Lemonade Broadband, SkyMesh, Superloop and Vodafone (TPG).

The Smith Family, Catholic Network Australia, and Catholic Education WA have also joined the initiative.

To be eligible, families with school age children will be nominated by participating schools, education authorities and charities/community organisations. These organisations, the government explained, will identify and provide information directly to families about the initiative.

“Aussie Broadband has always believed in the power of connectivity to combat inequity, and it’s why we were proud to be one of the few RSPs to help drive the government initiative pilot program,” Aussie Broadband chief strategy officer Jonathan Prosser said.

“This program will help Aussie kids get the most from their education … we’re happy to do our small part to level the playing field for all Australians.”

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