Superloop Home Broadband will offer 5000 currently unconnected low-income households free NBN services until the end of September, utilising a new scheme and temporary price promotion run by NBN Co.
The retailer said on Saturday morning that it is launching an “online learning plan” under the NBN scheme and has opened applications.
Superloop’s offer confirms eligibility details first reported by iTnews yesterday: that eligible families must have “a member of the household receiving the JobSeeker Payment or Family Tax Benefit Part A or B; have a school-age child living at their address; and be at an address which is covered by NBN and currently not connected to the NBN.”
Superloop has set a limit of 5000 customers that can sign up to the free offer.
All retail service providers participating in the scheme have a capped amount they can receive from NBN Co in the form of a waiver of wholesale costs.
They still incur costs of their own to run the service; however, early indications are that many RSPs will absorb them. Superloop founder Bevan Slattery thanked "the Superloop team (and shareholders) for absorbing all the backhaul, transit, intercap and support costs for this incredibly important initiative" in a social media post.
Superloop said that eligible customers would receive a 25/5Mbps unlimited quota service with typical evening speeds of 22Mbps down and 2Mbps up.
“[It] will remain at $0.00 a month until 30 September 2020. From 1 October 2020, the plan fee will return to $64.95 a month unless you cancel,” the RSP said.
“You may cancel at any time, and no minimum term contracts apply.”
The federal opposition has already questioned whether the funding allocation by the government for NBN Co’s scheme has enough headroom for services to be extended beyond September.
Aussie Broadband has also said it will participate in the scheme and offer free broadband services.
“We'll be participating in the program to offer free 25/5 internet plans for low-income households with school-aged children who currently have no connection,” managing director Phillip Britt said.
“Over the next few weeks, we’ll be working closely with schools to identify families who will benefit from this program.
"It’s critical for these families to access the internet for their kids’ education during this time.”
NBN Co’s scheme is worth a total of $50 million. However, it forms part of a broader relief package worth around $150 million.
Within the broader package, there are provisions for low-income families that already have an NBN connection but are suffering financial hardship to have their fees temporarily relieved.
The package also has a tranche dedicated to small to medium businesses under 200 staff which may also be suffering hardship.