Byline: Jill Schnarr and Ted Woodhead
In today’s digital world, connectivity is key. Imagine for a moment what your day would look like if you woke up tomorrow without Internet. Whether you’re searching for directions, looking up information for a paper, job-hunting or tracking down a phone number, having reliable Internet access is critical to staying afloat and getting ahead.
While Canada is recognized as a technology development and deployment leader, more than half of all households with incomes below $30,000 don’t have home Internet. Of these Canadians, 44 per cent cited cost, lack of a connected device and digital illiteracy as the barriers to their connectivity.
It’s clear that youth will be the most impacted by this lack of connectivity. In fact, students with home Internet access have a six to eight per cent higher rate of graduation compared with those without. That’s not acceptable; we want to help make a change and leverage the power of technology, for good.
This month, in collaboration with the provincial ministry of Social Development and Social Services, Decoda Literacy Solutions and the B.C. Technology for Learning Society, TELUS is introducing an innovative new low-cost Internet service pilot program to low-income single-parent families across B.C.: TELUS Internet for Good.
Together, this program will provide 18,000 families in more than 400 B.C. communities with:
- TELUS High-speed Internet for $9.95 per month, with speeds of up to 25 megabits per second
- A low-cost refurbished computer from our partners at the B.C. Technology for Learning
- Access to digital literacy programs and onsite training at public libraries in Vancouver and across the province, coordinated Decoda Literacy Solutions
- Access to TELUS WISE (Wise Internet and Smartphone Education) free online and in-person programs and resources with topics ranging from identity theft and cyber bullying for Canadians of all ages
To get more information about Internet for Good, including details about how to qualify for the pilot program, please read our Q&A here.
Expanding Internet for Good
While this pilot program is an important first step, we look forward to expanding it. We are currently working with the provincial government of Alberta to bring TELUS Internet for Good to Albertans before the end of the year.