The Invisible Barrier: EFA Applauds New Initiative Tackling Australia’s Digital Divide

If you have school-age children, the spiralling cost of living makes money tight, leading to tough choices like whether to prioritise home broadband.

Most schools now expect it, however for many families, essentials like food, electricity, rent, petrol, and medications must take precedence, leaving little wiggle room for extra expenses.

More and more, our interactions with government agencies and services happen online. But not everyone has equal access to the Internet or digital services – and this number is on the rise, with over half of Australian families reporting greater distress due to the soaring cost of living.

In Australia, the digital divide demands urgent attention from all of us. It widens the gap between those with and without access to essential online resources, thereby deepening societal inequalities and negatively affecting lives.

At EFA, we believe that there are no digital rights without digital equity, which is why we support the Federal Government’s School Student Broadband Initiative, aiming to equip up to 30,000 eligible families with NBN connections and routers. 

To be eligible you need to have a child living at home and enrolled in an Australian school (even registered homeschoolers). 

 You must live where NBN is available but not have an active NBN broadband service for 14 days before applying. During the application process, you will also be asked about your current financial situation, and if eligible, you can choose from 8 participating internet companies as your provider. 

Need to check your eligibility? Hit the link here. If you think you might be eligible because you have kids and no internet at home and money worries, ASK.

With nearly 7 million families in Australia, this initiative only scratches the surface of demand, particularly during a cost-of-living crisis.  EFA urges our supporters to back this program, share the information, and support other initiatives and movements focused on bridging Australia’s digital divide. 

There’s no digital rights without digital equity.

Join EFA’s community of advocates committed to closing Australia’s digital divide. By becoming a member, you amplify our collective voice in advocating for policies and programs that promote digital equity. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of families across the nation.

Image credit: iStock

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