Low income households in Rogers internet serving areas are about to get a much lower priced option for connecting online. Today, Rogers is helping to make broadband connectivity more accessible for about 150,000 Canadian households by announcing the expansion of its Connected for Success service across its entire cable internet footprint.
For the past two and a half years, Rogers has been running a pilot project to increase internet adoption in low income households, a project first announced at The 2013 Canadian Telecom Summit. The pilot service was taken by more than 20% of the 53,000 eligible households in Toronto Community Housing. There were 2,000 subscribed households in the first 4 months, which indicates a pattern of sustained growth.
With today’s announcement, Connected for Success service will become available to those living in rent-geared-to-income non-profit housing in Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland & Labrador. For $9.99/month, the service delivers internet speeds of up to 10 Mbps download and up to 1 Mbps upload. There are 533 non-profit housing agencies eligible to partner with Rogers as part of the Connected for Success program. Rogers has also launched Internet 5, a new low-cost service that is available to anyone within Rogers’ internet service area.
Low income Canadians are much less likely to subscribe to an internet service, even when there are competitive offerings available. As I wrote on Monday, “what you and I consider to be affordable may not be the same, and that is especially true for someone on social assistance.” Affordable broadband isn’t just a rural issue.
Connected for Success is a great initiative, helping to increase adoption of broadband service in households that can’t otherwise afford to go online. All of us benefit from school kids having a broadband connection at home, from families being able to connect like most Canadians and helping to enable more efficient delivery of government services.
Rogers Connected for Success covers most of Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland & Labrador. Which other service providers will step up to help expand broadband opportunities to low income households in the rest of the country?