20 October 2023




The Albanese Labor Government is making it easier for eligible local families to access 12 months free broadband over the NBN, with the launch of a new National Referral Centre to support the ongoing roll-out of the School Student Broadband Initiative (SSBI).

The SSBI – launched in January this year – fulfils an election commitment to help to narrow the digital divide for families who otherwise have no access to broadband at home. The initiative aims to connect up to 30,000 families nationwide.

The new National Referral Centre, led by Anglicare Victoria, now allows families to nominate themselves for the program directly, making it easier than ever for households in need to get connected.

In addition, nominations for SSBI have been extended until 30 April 2024.

To date, NBN Co has been partnering with more than 50 community organisations that work with vulnerable cohorts to identify eligible families.

More than 4,000 households around Australia have been connected through the initiative and an additional 18,700 connection vouchers have been issued to eligible families.

Eligible families are issued a voucher they can redeem with a participating internet provider to access their free connection.

To be eligible, a family must:

  • have a child living at home and enrolled in an Australian school;
  • be referred by a nominating organisation or self-nominate through the National Referral Centre;
  • have no active broadband service over the NBN network; and
  • live in premises where they can access a standard NBN service.

Families can contact the National Referral Centre on 1800 954 610 (Monday-Friday, 10am-6pm AEDT), by visiting or emailing [email protected]

For more information on SSBI, visit

Already the SSBI is delivering results locally, with several families in the Ipswich region having been granted free internet for a year thanks to the program.

Recently, Federal Member for Blair Shayne Neumann met with the Schroeder family from Ipswich, who have a number of children attending Redbank Plains State School, which referred them to the service.

Mr Neumann said the Albanese Labor Government was committed to helping families access the internet given cost-of-living pressures meant many were struggling to cover the cost.

“The Albanese Government’s School Student Broadband Initiative will relieve some of the barriers to students fully participating in online education.

“I’m confident it will make a real difference for so many families locally, like it has for the Schroeder family and others, and give them the tools they need to succeed in the classroom and beyond.

“Any eligible families in Ipswich, the Somerset Region and Karana Downs area interested in the SSBI can also contact my office on (07) 3201 5300 or [email protected] so we can connect them to the program,” Mr Neumann said.