The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has welcomed NBN Co’s decision to extend its Education Assistance offer until 15 January 2021. The targeted offer from NBN Co waives the wholesale costs for many services on the 25/5 Mbps speed tier and encourages telcos to offer free or heavily discounted nbn plans to low-income households with school-aged children.

“The nbn Education Assistance offer has meant that thousands of low-income households have been able to connect to the nbn for the first time,” said ACCAN Director of Policy, Una Lawrence.

“Without the financial assistance from this offer, many struggling households couldn’t afford a fixed home broadband connection. This would leave countless children offline and unable to learn from home during the rolling shutdowns of schools across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

NBN Co’s decision to allows telcos to migrate existing Education Assistance customers onto the half-priced Illuminate offer for 12 months once the Education Assistance offer expires has also earned praise from ACCAN.

“NBN Co has taken serious steps to ease the cost of living on struggling Australians; it’s now up to the telcos to take up these offers and pass them onto consumers.”

“At a time when households are dealing with so much uncertainty and increasing bill stress, the opportunity to lock in half-priced internet for a year would be welcomed by many.”

ACCAN also welcomed NBN Co’s extension of its 40 per cent additional wholesale capacity at no extra cost to internet retailers until 30 November 2020, which means that households can expect their nbn home broadband to continue to perform, even in times of peak demand.

“The extension of the 40 per cent wholesale capacity is particularly important for those areas in lockdown, where the reliability and performance of the network is critical. We have all become more dependent on connectivity this year and appreciate the support measures taken by NBN Co and retailers. Going forward, service affordability will be critical, and we encourage retailers to work with NBN Co to offer services at prices that all Australians can afford,” said Ms Lawrence.

ACCAN also welcomed NBN Co’s extension of the additional 45GB of monthly data for standard Sky Muster satellite services.

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