- The Australian Greens have recently revealed their plans to support free broadband services for about a million low-income households
- The funding of the policy would amount to up to $800 million annually, coming from consolidated revenue.
- The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network welcomed the announcement revealed by the Greens
The Australian Greens have recently revealed their plans to support free broadband services for about a million low-income households. The funding of the policy would amount to up to $800 million annually, coming from consolidated revenue.
According to Greens leader Adam Bandt, “During the last two years of lockdowns, some families had to park outside the local library to access free internet so their kids could do their school work. That’s unacceptable.”
“The pandemic has shown just how important the internet is. It’s critical connective infrastructure, and everyone deserves to be able to access it. But at a time when more people are having to rely on the internet to work, study, socialise, shop, and pay their bills, Australia’s digital divide is increasing.”
The Melbourne MP further added that “Everyone needs to be able to access online services.”
“The cost of living has gone through the roof, but we can provide free internet for those doing it tough so everyone can access the basics.”
“By making billionaires and big corporations pay their fair share of tax, we can ensure those doing it toughest can get NBN. No one should be left offline. We have all paid for the NBN, so it should be available to all. Under our plan, everyone will be able to access critical online services, find work, study, and communicate - no matter what other challenges they are facing in life. Liberal and Labor just abandon people who are on low incomes. They won’t raise the rate of income support and they won’t ensure that essential services are universally available. We need to end the digital divide and make things fairer, so no one is left offline.”
The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network welcomed the announcement revealed by the Greens. “ACCAN has long championed the need for affordable broadband services,” ACCAN CEO Andrew Williams said.
“Everything from job seeking, to banking, to accessing telehealth services now relies on having access to a reliable internet connection.
“At a time when connectivity has never been more important, we’d like to see all parties continue to pursue and implement policies which aim to close the digital divide and ensure that there is no Australian left offline.”
Last November, Labor said it would support a year of free broadband for up to 30,000 families that lacked internet access. In this case, eligible families would be identified by schools, state education departments, and local community organisations.