TELUS announced today a new pilot program that will offer low-cost Internet service to low-income single-parent families across the province on income or disability assistance.
In the coming weeks, approximately 18,000 single-parent families currently receiving assistance from the province will receive a coupon code in the mail.
The code will allow them to activate TELUS’ offer of Internet service for $9.95 a month.
This innovative pilot program is entirely funded by TELUS and comes at no cost to the government or to taxpayers.
“The families participating in the TELUS Internet for Good program will have access to countless opportunities that are often taken for granted,” said Darren Entwistle, TELUS President and CEO.
“From applying for a job, to accessing online learning, to connecting with distant loved ones, to virtually experiencing vibrant art and music, Internet connectivity will ensure these families are empowered to reach their full potential in our increasingly digital society.”
Program participants will also have access to TELUS WISE, an innovative program dedicated to educating Canadians about Internet safety and equipping families with the tools they need to have conversations with their children and loved ones about online and smartphone safety.
“We are pleased to support TELUS with this offer to single parents receiving assistance,” said
Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation. “Improving connectivity for low-income single parents in B.C. opens more doors to success for them and their families.
This pilot project also complements our government’s Single Parent Employment Initiative, which is removing barriers to employment for single parents on income and disability assistance.”
To ensure all families who participate in the program are equipped to access the wealth of resources the Internet offers, TELUS is collaborating with BC Technology for Learning Society and Decoda Literacy.
Through the BC Technology for Learning Society, families who cannot afford a computer will have the opportunity to purchase a refurbished desktop computer or laptop at a greatly reduced rate, while Decoda Literacy will help interested program participants enhance their digital literacy skills.
“TELUS has been a sponsor to our Computers for Schools program for over 20 years and we’re thrilled to partner with them now on this bold initiative and finally remove the last piece of the digital divide by placing computers and low cost internet into family homes,” said Mary-Em Waddington, Executive Director of the BC Technology for Learning Society.
“Decoda Literacy is proud to be a collaborative partner in the TELUS Internet for Good program,” said Diana Twiss, Director at Decoda. “We believe that having strong digital literacy and easier access to technology is essential to the success of children, families and all British Columbians.
Through our coordinated network of 102 Literacy Outreach Coordinators working in over 400 communities across the province, we are well-positioned to help improve the literacy skills of learners of all ages.”
As TELUS Internet for Good offers the promise of a friendlier future in a digital world, TELUS plans to extend this program beyond British Columbia. The organization is currently working with the provincial government of Alberta to bring TELUS Internet for Good to Albertans before the end of the year.
- Approximately 18,000 single-parent families in B.C. receive income or disability assistance from the provincial government.
- When surveyed about reasons for not having Internet access, low-income parents have cited three main barriers: price, hardware, and education.
- Through this pilot program, eligible single-parent families will receive a coupon detailing how to activate $9.95 a month Internet service from TELUS.
- Participants will have access to up to 25 Mbps download speeds and 300GB of data per month.
- Through collaboration with BC Technology for Learning (reusetechbc.ca) Society, families who cannot afford a computer can purchase a refurbished desktop computer for $100 or a refurbished laptop for $150.
- TELUS is partnering with the Decoda Literacy Solutions (decoda.ca) , a provincial nonprofit literacy organization, to ensure that free digital literacy resources including on-line and in person learning programs are available to participants in this program.
- Eligibility for this pilot is based on having been a single-parent family on income or disability assistance on September 20, 2016 and living at an address in a TELUS internet service area.
- The Provincial Government of British Columbia is facilitating the TELUS offer through a mail-out to eligible single parents on income or disability assistance informing them about the pilot program.
- No personal information has been shared with TELUS.
- This pilot is entirely funded by TELUS and comes at no cost to the government or taxpayers.
- In 2013 TELUS launched a program called TELUS WISE (wise.telus.com) (WISE Internet and Smartphone Education), a free educational program for all Canadians focusing on online criminal activity such as identity theft and cyber bullying.
- The goal of TELUS WISE is to educate Canadians of all ages to be safer online in this growing digital society by equipping families with the tools they need to have conversations with their children and loved ones about online and smartphone safety.
- Learn more about the provincial government’s Single Parent Employment Initiative: www.gov.bc.ca/SingleParentEmploymentInitiative.
For more information, please contact:
TELUS Media Relations
Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation