Many companies are coming up with ways to help their customers through these difficult times and the NBN Co has announced it will establish a $150 million package to support residential and small and medium business customers.

Now more than ever a decent broadband is essential so anything that helps customers maintain that is welcome. The relief fund is aimed at “helping Internet providers connect low-income households with home schooling needs, supporting emergency and essential services, and assisting small and medium businesses and residential customers who are facing financial hardship.”

One third of the $150 million package is to be directed to support low-income households with school-aged children who currently do NOT have an active NBN connection at home.

The package also aims to help support struggling households and businesses stay connected and will attempt to focus on “providing internet providers higher speeds for telehealth providers, enhanced service levels, and prioritised connections” for essential and telehealth providers.

nbn Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Rue, said:

As a national wholesale provider of broadband services, nbn has an important role to play in supporting internet providers connecting families with remote schooling needs for their children and keeping Australian households, small and medium businesses, as well as essential and emergency services connected.

“The unprecedented measures we are announcing today reflect our commitment to the Telecommunications industry in helping to deliver a whole of industry solution to these consumer and business segments which have been hit hard by the pandemic.

As you would expect the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman welcomes the assistance package saying that combined with the Telecommunications hardship principles for COVID-19 announced by the government yesterday the help is welcome support for vulnerable customers.

It’s pleasing to see the Government, regulators, phone and internet provider, and NBN Co continuing to work together during this pandemic to support all members of the community, particularly low income families and businesses who are struggling to pay their bills.Ombudsman Judi Jones

It is great to see the NBN Co helping out like this. Hopefully the help they are offering can reach the places where it is most needed, and soon. Next we need the banks to stop interest being paid/indexed on home loans (yes I know, wishful thinking).