Telecom’s history of community service

Kids Help PhoneWhen I first got started in the telephone business, I remember the prominence of the Telephone Pioneers, a group that continues to operate under the banner of TelecomPioneers of Canada. They “are leaders in volunteerism, commited to improving the quality of life in our communities.” It is a group with a long standing tradition of volunteerism.

Bred out of a different era – perhaps encouraged by the long-lost safety of rate of return regulated monopolies – there is a history of community involvement by many of the companies in the telecom sector. It is a soft form of advocacy; a subtle form of corporate marketing. Most important, it is the right thing to do.

Community action by members of the industry ranges from Rogers’ Pumpkin Patrol at Halloween, to Wind Mobile’s deployment of volunteer resources during its licensing uncertainty, to last night’s celebration of the 20th anniversary of Kids Help Phone, founded in part by Bell Canada.

And now, TELUS is continuing to roll out its social networking services to children who are stuck in hospital beds across Canada. A couple months ago, I wrote about TELUS’ activities in delivering, at that time being rolled out to IWK Health Care in Halifax. The service was already running at McMaster in Hamilton, CHEO in Ottawa and at the BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver. On Wednesday, it appears that TELUS will be announcing the addition of Canada’s largest children’s hospital, Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children.

Continuing a long, proud history of community service in telecommunications. It is the right thing to do.

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