Connecting Families – Internet service for low-income Canadian families

MONTREAL, June 07, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, access to residential Internet is essential to economic, social, and educational opportunity, yet many Canadian families make significant trade-offs in order to pay for it. Computers for Success – Canada Inc. (CFSC) is proud to be involved in Innovation, Science and Economic Development’s (ISED) Connecting Families initiative to increase Internet affordability for low-income Canadians.

Announced by Minister Navdeep Bains at the Canadian Telecom Summit in Toronto, the initiative brings together seven Internet Service Providers (ISPs) across the country -- Bell, Cogeco, Rogers, SaskTel, Shaw, TELUS and Videotron – that are partnering with the Government of Canada to offer low-cost service to eligible households. Connecting Families is set to run until 2022 and CFSC will develop a secure online portal that will enable eligible low-income Canadian families to access the $10 per month high speed Internet service from participating Internet Service Providers while protecting their privacy. Up to 50,000 computers will also be made available to eligible families through the Computers for Schools program.

“Computers and Internet are basic tools Canadians rely on for access to public services, education and employment, said Toby Harper-Merrett, Executive Director of CFSC-OPEC. Our organization, and others delivering ISED’s Computers for Schools program, bring decades of community-sector knowledge to this initiative that will provide more Canadian families access to the valuable resources available to them online.”

The initiative was designed to connect low income families to the Internet. As such, Canadian families that currently receive the maximum Child Care Benefit (CCB) are eligible for this initiative. Eligible households will have access to residential wireline Internet service for $10 per month, with no less than 10 Mbps download speeds (or the fastest available) and no less than 100GB of data usage each, with no equipment or installation fees applied. As the cost of computer hardware is also a barrier for some families, a target of 50,000 computers will be distributed to eligible families through the existing Computers for Schools (CFS) program.

“Family income should not be a barrier to making an appointment or completing homework. This affordability initiative will help low-income Canadian families spend less of their household budget on Internet, and for others address significant challenges to getting online at all,” added Mr. Harper-Merrett.

About the CFS program
Computers for Schools is a Government of Canada program that refurbishes computers donated by government, private businesses and individuals for use by schools, libraries, registered not-for-profit organizations and Indigenous communities.

About CFSC
Computers for Success Canada (CFSC-OPEC) is a not-for-profit organization established in 2005 supporting the impacts of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada digital inclusion and economic participation programs. CFSC-OPEC’s services stand in four pillars - marketing and communications, partnership development, project management, and strategic planning.

Julie Brouard

Manager, Communications
Computers for Success – Canada Inc.
+1 514 756 3885