As another school year begins for students across the Hawkesbury, there are some kids who’ll struggle to keep up because their home doesn’t have broadband internet.
In my day, kids needed books and pens, coloured pencils and glue, but we all understand that accessing a computer at home, and the internet, is now a necessity for homework and study.
The way students learn has changed since I was at school, and even since my own kids were students. Schools are using more online learning tools as part of their everyday lessons and the internet gives families access to important educational resources.
So if you know someone who doesn’t have a home broadband connection, the Albanese’s School Student Broadband Initiative (SSBI) may help them get through 2024. To be eligible, there needs to be students enrolled in school, living at home, with no active broadband services over the NBN network.
We want to ensure that every child has access to the transformational benefit of broadband so they can keep up with their peers. That’s why we’re investing $8.8 million to connect up to 30,000 eligible families with school aged children to the NBN.
Getting kids to do their homework and to hand in their assignments on time can already be a struggle of a lot of parents. Not having access to the internet makes completing that work even more difficult and makes it harder for kids to get excited to learn and participate in class.
More than 6,000 households have already been connected to free internet through the SSBI and the affordability initiative has been extended through to 31 December 2025, so more families can benefit from fast, reliable, free internet for longer.
The service, while designed to help kids access education tools, can be used by the entire household, allowing families to access other digital services, like telehealth, online banking, and myGov services.
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.
This initiative is just one way we’re helping families manage the cost of living while narrowing the digital divide so all kids get a great start in life.