Hi. My name is John Whitley, founder of – Australia’s number one satellite communications online store.

I  want to answer one of the most common questions I get from Australian Satellite Phones customers: “Am I eligible for a Government Satellite Phone Subsidy?”

The following information will steer you in the right direction with this question but please be aware there are no hard and fast rules and the Government looks at each application on its individual merits.

Firstly lets look at why the subsidy exists in the first place. The Australian Federal Government has an obligation to provide reasonable communication to anyone who resides within Australia. Australia, however, is a huge country and the cost of putting up infrastructure for just one or two people in a specific area may not be the best use of government funding. To give as many people as possible in Australia the opportunity to have everyday communications via the telephone, in 2003 the Government created the Satellite Phone Subsidy Scheme.

Since then it has gone through many variations, the latest one in July 2009 giving it a new lease of life for another couple of years.

The purpose of the subsidy is to assist those people who live or work at least three months of the year in remote parts of Australia.

You may be eligible for the subsidy if:

  1. You live in an area which does not have mobile phone coverage, or
  2. You work at least three months of the year (this does not have to be in one continuous period) in an area that does not have mobile phone coverage.

Recently we have seen the subsidy guidelines relaxed so that even if you intend to be away for six months throughout the next two years you may also be eligible.

Another great thing about this subsidy is that, provided you are eligible, it is very easy and quick to obtain.

The subsidy can be for a new or used satellite phone as long as it is purchased from one of the Government’s approved subsidy partners.

The amount of the grant changes frequently but currently ranges from $700-$1,000 or up to 50% of the purchase price, whichever is higher and dependant on circumstances. It is paid directly to the dealer and you pay the balance of the purchase price.


  • They will not give the grant out for a satellite phone that has already been purchased. It is only for new sales.
  • If the satellite phone is to be used mainly overseas you will not be eligible for the grant.

This scheme is a credit to the Government and the employees that administrate it. The application takes just five minutes to complete and it is not unusual for us to see them approved within seven days.

If you’d like to know anything more about satellite phones and the Satellite Phone Subsidy Scheme  or would like an application please contact us and we will be happy to help you.

I trust you found this information useful. See our website for more free advice and to learn all you need to know about satellite phones. Or if its no longer available why not try hiring a satellite phone at 

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