While the CRTC declared in 2016 that Internet in Canada is a basic service, there are still large swaths of the country that are unable to afford even the most rudimentary access speeds.
Now, Rogers is trying to make their services more accessible Canadians.
On May 25th, 2017, the Canadian telecommunications giant announced a partnership with the London and Middlesex Housing Corporation (LMHC) to bring affordable Internet to low-income residents living in the London area.
The partnership is part of the Rogers ‘Connected for Success’ program that charges $9.99 CAD-per-month for access to 10 Mbps download and 1Mbps upload.
The LMHC is the 160th housing provider to work with Rogers’ ‘Connected for Success’ program.
“Rogers’ partnership with London and Middlesex Housing Corporation will enable us to bridge the digital divide for London area residents by connecting them to vital community services,” said Peter King, Rogers’ senior director of corporate social responsibility, in a media release.
According to Rogers, the partnership with the LMHC will bring affordable Internet to approximately 3,200 low-income households.
“Having easy and affordable access to the Internet is essential in 2017,” said Matt Brown, the mayor of London, in the same release. “We need to ensure people have all the tools they need to succeed and I am so pleased to see Rogers and [LMHC] coming together to make this a reality.”
A 2015 Ipsos-Reid study revealed that 91 percent of Canadians have access to the Internet at home. However, only 70 percent of households with an annual income under $25,000 CAD have access to the Internet at home.
“Our tenants will now have the opportunity to connect to so many important resources online that will improve their quality of life at an affordable price,” said Josh Browne, CEO of LMHC.
“This program is truly life-changing for so many people and demonstrates LMHC’s commitment in supporting high-speed Internet as a basic service for all Canadians.”
The CRTC, in its aim to substantially reduce the number of Canadians disconnected from the Internet, supports partnerships — like those between Rogers and the LMHC — that connect Canadians with affordable Internet.
“The CRTC believes that a comprehensive solution to affordability issues requires a multi-faceted approach, including the participation of other stakeholders,” said Céline Legault, in an email to MobileSyrup.
“We support programs that aim to provide basic telecommunications services to low-income Canadians.”
Additionally, Legault said that the “CRTC encourages other stakeholders to follow suit” by working to provide similar services.
Updated to include CRTC comment.