Currently open for applications from all Victorian government schools (primary, secondary, specialist and language schools).
The School Student Broadband Initiative (SSBI) offers eligible students free internet at home until the end of 2025.
Led by the National Broadband Network (NBN), the School Student Broadband Initiative (SSBI) is a Federal Government initiative offering free home internet to 30,000 unconnected households with school-aged students.
The goal is to:
- boost educational opportunities
- narrow the digital divide.
About the initiative
The SSBI will enable eligible households to access free internet on the NBN network until 31 December 2025, starting from the time the service is activated with the retail service provider (RSP). Other household members can use the internet service provided by the initiative.
The period in which families/carers can apply to receive a free service is up to 31 December 2024.
For households who have already signed up, their SSBI services will automatically be extended until 31 December 2025 (no further eligibility checks will be required, unless they change address).
After this free period, families/carers cannot be placed on a paid service without consent. The government is exploring options beyond 2025.
The Federal Government initiative does not provide a computer device (desktops, notebooks and tablets) to support access. However, it is a requirement of the SSBI that students have access to a computer device at home. Where a student does not have a computer device, the school will need to support the student by providing one.
Information on retail service providers (RSPs)
Eligible families/carers can choose their preferred RSP from the list of participating internet providers. Each RSP will have their own connection process, which may involve the use of personal information provided by the primary carer or parent.
If a household relocates to a new address during the free broadband period (i.e. until 31 December 2025), they can continue to access the service in their new home (subject to the eligibility criteria). Participants must contact their RSP if they are planning to move house. The RSP will support them to move the service to their new property.
Households must meet the following criteria:
- have a child enrolled in an Australian school
- don’t have an active NBN internet service at home* (excludes mobile internet services)
- live in an area where NBN can be accessed through a standard connection (NBN will confirm this).
*If an address has been disconnected within 14 days prior to an eligibility check – the address will be classified as not eligible (effective from 9 October 2023). There may be cases where exceptions can be made, please contact the School Student Broadband Initiative team at SSBI@education.vic.gov.au to discuss further.
Application process for families and carers
- Request a printed consent form (DOCX) from the school.
- Complete the paper form.
- Return it to the child’s teacher.
- If eligible, families/carers will:
- receive a voucher to allow them to sign up
- need to choose a participating RSP and redeem the voucher to get the service installed.
- If not eligible, the family/carer will receive a letter to inform them.
Note: vouchers must be activated with the RSP by Tuesday 31 December 2024.
Your role as a school
Schools should invite potential eligible households to participate using the text for newsletter or online post (DOCX) provided by the department. School staff, with direction from the principal, can also approach families/carers they believe may benefit from the initiative.
Complete an online application via the SSBI portal. Please refer to CASES21 to confirm the nominated student address. You must enter the CASES21 ID into the online form.
The department will only share address information with NBN for eligibility confirmation. You will receive an update on your application within approximately 2 weeks.
You will receive outcomes via the SSBI portal:
- Eligible – address is eligible, including sign-up instructions and voucher number.
- Not eligible – address is not eligible due to having an existing connection or being in a remote location (not covered by NBN).
- Invalid – address may be incomplete or need further validation.
Schools should pass on outcome letters to families/carers. This will include a helpline for questions regarding the assessment or connecting with an RSP.
Find out how to access the SSBI portal and complete an application form using the SSBI quick reference guide – Completing an application form (PDF).
If you have any questions or queries, raise a General Enquiry via the Department of Education Service Portal.
For more information on the SSBI, visit the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts website.