COVID-19 Emergency and Essential Services Package

nbn helping to support emergency and essential services organisations 

To help Australians respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, nbn is providing up to $50 million to assist phone and internet providers to support small and medium businesses, as well as emergency services organisations, essential services organisations and telehealth providers.

This funding will help phone and internet providers keep emergency and essential services connected to the nbn™ network, through prioritising their connections and fault resolution, through offering enhanced service levels at no additional cost, and for telehealth providers, through speed boosts at no additional cost. 


How do I know if I’m eligible?

If you are an emergency service organisation, or you provide essential services, or are a telehealth provider (refer list below), you may be eligible for these offers. You can contact your phone and internet provider today and they will help determine if you are eligible for assistance. 

Frequently asked questions

Under these offers, nbn will not charge phone and internet providers for: 

  • prioritising connections and fault resolution and enhanced service levels for emergency and essential services organisations (including telehealth providers); or 
  • speed boosts for telehealth providers.  

However each phone and internet provider will have their own pricing structure, so you will need to contact your provider to enquire. The assistance period commenced in April 2020 and will run to September 2020. 

nbn will begin charging phone and internet providers regular prices for services at the end of the assistance period. Please contact your phone and internet provider to ask what happens at the end of the assistance period and make sure you agree and understand any ongoing costs.

The following lists the eligible emergency and essential services (including telehealth providers) that nbn has agreed with participating internet service providers, as at May 2020. This list may change from time to time.

a. Emergency Services Premises means a Premises identified by your phone and internet service provider, acting reasonably and in accordance with processes specified by nbn from time to time, as being a Premises used in the provision of any of the following emergency services:

i. ambulance services;

ii. fire-fighting services;

iii. police or law enforcement services.

b. Essential Services Premises means a Premises identified by your phone and internet service provider, acting reasonably and in accordance with processes specified by nbn from time to time, as being a Premises used in the provision of any of the following essential services:

i. defence force functions and prison systems;

ii. personal emergency services which are staffed 24 hours per day such as Lifeline, State Emergency Services, Crisis Line and Poisons Information Line;

iii. healthcare services including public health services, Telehealth Premises services and other medical supply services including for production, supply or distribution of pharmaceutical products;

iv. food supplies such as by supermarkets and convenience stores;

v. education, such as by schools, universities and TAFEs;

vi. telecommunications, including for the provision of infrastructure, voice and internet services;

vii. key public utilities, such as energy, power, fuel, water, sanitation, waste removal and welfare;

viii. financial institution’s services, such as by banks and credit unions;

ix. public transport, including transportation of people and freight.

c. Telehealth Premises means a Premises identified by your phone and internet service provider, acting reasonably and in accordance with processes specified by nbn from time to time, as being a registered business premises used by an appropriately qualified service provider to provide telehealth services—being any of the following medical consulting services delivered using voice or internet services over the nbn™ broadband access network:

i. general practitioner services;

ii. medical specialist services;

iii. nurse practitioner services; 

iv. mental health treatment;

v. chronic disease management;

vi. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health assessments;

vii. treatment of eating disorders;

viii. pregnancy support counselling;

ix. treatment of patients in aged care facilities;

x. disability services.

More about our $150 million relief and assistance package

COVID-19 Education assistance package

COVID-19 Small and medium business package update