The Nationals in Government have announced that NBN Co will provide $150 million in financial relief to internet providers so they can assist families and businesses accessing the NBN during COVID-19.

Nationals Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said this package was targeted at supporting low-income households that have school-aged children, and provides financial hardship relief for residential customers and small and medium sized businesses.

“$50 million will help connect low-income families with school-aged children so they can access the internet for educational purposes. NBN Co will waive the $37 monthly wholesale charge, paid for by internet providers, for many services on the 25/5 Mbps speed tier plan available from April until September,” he said.

A further $50 million will be allocated to support households experiencing financial hardship due to the challenges presented by the coronavirus.

“Support for small and medium businesses to the value of another $50 million will include waiving wholesale monthly costs paid by internet providers for businesses facing COVID-19 related financial hardship, and providing internet providers with discounted access to new business-grade services until January 31 next year,” Mr Coulton said.

“Internet providers will also be offered enhanced service levels, priority connections and fault resolutions for essential and emergency services, including telehealth providers.”

The internet is incredibly important in connecting us to loved ones, enabling education, and allowing us to run our businesses and stay productive from home. Of course, the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has presented extremely difficult financial and economic challenges for many Australian families and businesses and access to affordable broadband is more important than ever.

The NSW Nationals are certain that NBN Co’s relief fund will provide a helping hand to many Australians so they stay online through the challenging times ahead.