Following advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer, Victorian schools have returned to on-site schooling.
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NBN Education Assistance Package
Co has announced the
COVID-19 Education Assistance Package, to connect low-income families with home schooling needs to cheaper NBN connections for access to the internet. It will be waiving its monthly wholesale charge from 1 April 2020 until 30 September 2020 for qualifying families
More information on the NBN COVID-19 Education Assistance Package and other initiatives designed to support students learning from home is available on the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN)
As at 14 May 2020, the retailers specified on the
NBN COVID-19 Education Assistance Package page are participating in delivery of the assistance package.
The information on this page was correct at the time of writing and is provided for informational purposes only. Contractual conditions applied by a participating retailer regarding the NBN Education Assistance Package may vary without notice from the information supplied in this document.
Note that only a limited number of NBN connections are available from each participating retailer through the package. The contractual conditions supplied by each participating retailer vary, including setup/router costs, whether a lock-in contract applies after the end of the assistance package period, and the monthly cost that may be charged from that time.
Families are advised to determine the retailer that best meets their needs through their own research.
For updates to the list of participating retailers, access the NBN Co
COVID-19 Education Assistance Package web page.
School teacher NBN priority support
As students across the nation start to go back to school, teachers who are unable to return to work due to health concerns will be able to access the NBN Co Covid-19 priority assistance helpline. This initiative is for those teachers who are at greater risk to infection from COVID-19 and who need to work from home for various reasons, including age, chronic conditions, disability and living in remote communities.
Teachers in the above category requiring prioritisation of NBN orders, service requests or fault resolution may access prioritised support through one of the two following methods:
Contact NBN Co directly
Where a teacher has already logged an NBN order, service request or fault with their retailer, they may contact NBN Co directly on the hotline 1800 687 686 to obtain prioritised support.
They must quote the phrase
critical teacher support to easily identify themselves as one of the eligible people to receive prioritised support.
The NBN order, service request or fault resolution will then be managed under the NBN Co medically vulnerable customer process (MVEU) with expedited resolution times.
Contact their retailer
If the teacher contacts their retailer regarding an NBN order, service request or fault resolution, advise the retailer that they require
critical teacher support. The retailer will then contact NBN Co via the 24/7 Medically Vulnerable End User (MVEU) hotline to obtain prioritised support from NBN Co.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) How do families qualify for the NBN Education Assistance Package?
To qualify for this package, families must:
- reside in an area with NBN service
- live in a residence that was not connected to the NBN prior to 1 March 2020
- be a recipient of Family Tax Benefit A or B
- have one or more school-aged children living at their residence.
They should contact the participating NBN retailer of their choice for assistance in determining if they are eligible, and the contractual conditions that apply.
2) Who is responsible for ordering an NBN connection under the NBN Education Assistance Package?
The family is responsible for ordering an NBN connection under the package, once they are deemed eligible by the selected retailer.
3) If the family is renting, are they eligible for the NBN Education Assistance Package?
Yes. They must advise their landlord that they wish to have the NBN connected. With the landlord's agreement, they are able to order an NBN connection through a participating retailer.
4) If the family already has an NBN connection and is experiencing financial hardship during COVID-19, are they eligible for the NBN Education Assistance Package?
No. They should contact their current NBN retailer for assistance with financial hardship.
5) If the family qualifies, what happens at the end of the assistance period?
NBN Co will begin charging normal wholesale prices for NBN services as from 1 October 2020. Participating NBN retailers will have a transition plans in place once the package ends.
When applying for the assistance package from a participating retailer, families must ensure they understand and agree to any ongoing costs and contractual commitments, as they will vary between differing retailers.
6) What is a router?
An NBN-compatible VDSL router is required to be connected to the NBN connection point in a residence in order to use the NBN service. These routers will generally be able to support wi-fi (wireless) connections to computers within a residence.
7) Does a family have to purchase a router from the participating retailer to use their NBN service?
Some retailers require their customers to purchase a router from them as a condition of using the service, while other retailers permit their customers to supply their own router.
The advantage of using a router supplied by the retailer is that they come pre-configured, thus simplifying installation and support processes. On the other hand, it may be cheaper to use a different router, if allowed, although installation and support may be more difficult.
Discuss with the participating retailers if it is required to purchase a router from them, or not.
8) What do schools do if a student was loaned a 4G internet device, and their family subsequently obtains an NBN connection under the NBN Education Assistance Package?
The loaned 4G internet device is to be returned to the school once the NBN connection has been installed.
Where schools are assisting families to obtain NBN connections under the NBN Co COVID-19 Education Relief Package, they are to cross-reference their register of loan equipment for 4G internet devices against these families.
9) How can schools help eligible families to obtain the NBN Education Assistance Package?
Schools may assist families in understanding the differing product offerings available from the participating retailers, depending on the circumstances of the individual family.
Some participating retailers (e.g. Aussie Broadband) may require schools to contact them to confirm that families are eligible and have a school-age student living at their residence, prior to accepting a family to the package. In this instance, schools are to obtain the consent of the family prior to providing any personal details to a participating retailer.
Schools are advised that unspent 2020 Camps, Sports and Excursions Funding (CSEF) allocations may be used to support the cost of a new NBN connection obtained through the package for families with a CSEF eligible student.
10) How long does it take to obtain an NBN connection?
The selected retailer will be able to provide the family with an estimate for the connection date.
11) What equipment is required for an NBN connection?
The selected retailer will be able to provide advice regarding the required equipment for an NBN connection.
12) How do families determine if their residence is in an area with NBN service?
Families may determine if their residence is in an area by accessing the
NBN Co website and entering their residential address.
13) When may a family be required to pay a New Development Charge for an NBN service?
NBN Co may charge a new development charge for the cost of deploying network infrastructure to new premises or residences to support their connection to the NBN. This is usually passed through by the retailer to the customer. A family should discuss this with their selected retailer to determine if their residence will attract this charge.
The New Development Charge is applied in addition to any setup or router costs applied by the retailer.
Until 30 September 2020, additional relief is available from NBNCo to help ensure qualifying families are not left out of pocket due to the New Development Charge being levied on their new NBN connection. Families should discuss the New Development Charge Rebate with their selected retailer, to find out how they may benefit.
14) What does 'opt-in' and 'opt-out' mean?
Some retailers may define their NBN package as being an 'opt-in' service. In this case, at the end of the NBN Education Assistance Package on 30 September 2020, the family is required to by the retailer to 'opt-in' for NBN service to continue. At this time, the family can choose to either terminate the NBN service, or transition to a paid NBN monthly plan with the retailer.
Some retailers may define their NBN package as being an 'opt-out' service. In this case, at the end of the NBN Education Assistance Package on 30 September 2020 if the family wishes to terminate their NBN service they must 'opt-out' of the service, or the service will automatically be rolled over into a normal monthly payment plan specified by the retailer
15) What is a 'lock-in period'?
Some participating retailers will require a family to commit to using their NBN service for a 'lock-in' period beyond the end of the NBN Education Assistance Package on 30 September 2020. If a family wishes to terminate the service before the end of the lock-in period, the retailer will require payment of a cancellation fee.
Families should discuss whether a lock-in period applies with their selected retailer.
16) What are Fixed Broadband, Fixed Wireless and Satellite connections?
A Fixed Broadband connection to the NBN requires a physical cable for a residence to be connected to the NBN network. A range of different technologies are used, including FTTC, FTTN, FTTB, FTTP and HFC.
A Fixed Wireless connection to the NBN uses 4G wireless technology and is used in rural and remote areas not serviced by Fixed Broadband.
A Satellite connection to the NBN uses an NBN Sky Muster satellite uplink to connect to the NBN and is used in rural and remote areas not serviced by Fixed Wireless or Fixed Broadband.
17) What is the monthly data quota and speed for NBN services supplied under the NBN Education Assistance Package?
The monthly data quota and speed for NBN services supplied under the NBN Education Assistance Package may vary between retailers. Additionally, these may also vary based on the type of NBN connection supplied – Fixed Broadband, Fixed Wireless or Satellite.
Families should discuss the monthly data quota and speed that is provided under the package with their selected retailer. They should also discuss with the retailer what monthly data quota and speed will apply after the end of the NBN Education Assistance package period.