The Federal Government is investing $8.8 million in a School Student Broadband Initiative (SSBI), which is set to provide free broadband to thousands of families to support kids with their education and provide cost-of-living relief. 

The initiative is set to connect up to 30,000 families nationwide without internet at home to free broadband in a bid to narrow the digital divide and ease cost-of-living pressures.

The New South Wales Department of Education is playing an active role in boosting visibility of the SSBI across New South Wales public and secondary schools by encouraging more families to take advantage of the program.

Once assessed as eligible, families are issued with a unique voucher they can redeem with a participating internet provider. The free service begins from the day the service is activated, and is available across all NBN technologies.

More than 1,000 families in New South Wales – almost 8,000 across the country – have already been connected to free internet as a result of the initiative.

To be eligible, a family must:

  • Have a child living at home enrolled in an Australian school
  • Have no active broadband service over the NBN network
  • Live in a premises where they can access a standard NBN service

To apply, families are encouraged to contact the National Referral Centre – run by Anglicare Victoria – on 1800 954 610 (Monday-Friday, 10am-6pm AEDT), or visit:

The Federal Government has said that it is considering options to support participating families at the end of 2025, including asking the NBN Low-Income and Digital Inclusion Forum to examine discounted products.

Federal Minister for Communications, Michelle Rowland, said that as New South Wales students return to school, it is essential they have access to reliable broadband at home to fully engage in online learning.

“The School Student Broadband Initiative is already making a serious difference for thousands of families who have been able to enjoy the benefits of broadband for the first time,” Ms Rowland said. 

“I welcome this partnership with the New South Wales Government which will mean even more families can participate.

“This program is another example of the Federal Government’s work to narrow the digital divide and support Australians with rising cost-of-living pressures.”

Deputy Premier of New South Wales and Minister for Education, Prue Car, said learning does not stop once students leave the school gates. 

“This initiative helps break down any digital barriers our students may face, and we encourage all eligible families to apply,” Ms Car said. 

“Every student in New South Wales deserves access to world-class education. Thanks to this program, our public school students and their families are enabled to access online services.” 

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