The Government of Canada is aiming to provide affordable internet connections to people in need with its Connecting Families initiative.
François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and Deb Schulte, Minister of Seniors, announced that the second phase of Connecting Families will help connect “hundreds of thousands” of low-income seniors and families to affordable high-speed home internet by 2022.
The second phase of Connecting Families will provide about 50Mbps download and 10Mbps upload speeds with 200GB of data usage for $20 per month. Furthermore, this new phase will expand eligibility for families receiving the maximum Canada Child Benefit (CCB) to include low-income seniors.
“Being connected is important to maintain professional, social, economic and cultural networks within the digital economy. However, many low-income Canadians are still facing barriers that prevent their full participation in the economy,” said Champagne, in a news release. “By working with Internet service providers across the country, we are increasing accessibility and providing all Canadians with affordable and reliable Internet.”
Partnering with the government on the initiative are Access Communications, Bell Canada, Cogeco, CSUR, Hay Communications, Mornington, Novus, Rogers, SaskTel, Tbaytel, Telus, Vidéotron and Westman Communications.
“Seniors depend on the internet to stay in touch and access vital services. Providing low-income seniors with affordable access to high-speed internet service will make a tremendous difference in their everyday lives,” said Schulte. “We’re grateful to leading Internet service providers for their partnership in making the Internet more accessible to all Canadians.”
Families eligible under the program will receive a letter from the Government of Canada with an access code that is required to sign up for the initiative through a secure online portal.
Phase 2 of Connecting Families builds on several other initiatives taken by the government, including the landmark ENCQOR 5G partnership for next-generation technologies, the Connect to Innovate initiative, the $2.75 billion Universal Broadband Fund, and the $750 million Broadband Fund from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.
Source: Government of Canada