Rogers is expanding its low-cost Internet program for Canadians receiving income support through Ontario Works, who are part of the Ontario Disability Support Program, or seniors receiving Guaranteed Income Supplement.
Called Connected for Success, the program is designed to help bridge the digital divide. The expansion will include faster speed options to support growing connectivity needs,
The high-speed, low-cost Internet program is now expanding to new qualifying customers receiving income support through Ontario Works, the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), and for senior Ontarians receiving the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). It is available everywhere in Ontario that Rogers offers Internet service.
“This last year in particular has shown us the vital role that networks and connectivity play in all of our lives,” says Joe Natale, President and CEO, Rogers Communications. “At Rogers, we want to help ensure that no Canadian is left behind in accessing affordable Internet options. We are proud to play a role in bridging the digital divide to ensure more people and families stay connected to the things that matter most, including vital support systems, access to employment, learning and loved ones.”
Rogers was the first Internet provider to offer this type of program, first introduced with Toronto Community Housing in 2013, expanded to all Ontarians in Rent-Geared-to-Income housing in 2016, and to those receiving the Maximum Child Care Benefit through Connecting Families in 2018. After consulting with key government and community stakeholders, the expansion will include new speed options to support evolving connectivity needs of Canadians. Rogers newly expanded program supports the federal government’s plan to provide faster Internet speeds to all Canadians.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how much we all rely on digital connections now,” adds The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “It has reinforced the importance of access to affordable high-speed Internet as, now more than ever, Canadians are working, learning and communicating with friends and family from home. It is a priority for our Government to ensure that all Canadians get connected, and we are counting on our partners in the private sector to help us achieve that goal. I congratulate Rogers on expanding its Connected for Success program, now helping even more Canadians with their connectivity needs, and further bridging the digital divide.”
Eligible customers can apply through the Connected for Success website and they must provide verification that they are receiving government financial assistance under one of the five qualifying programs. A Rogers customer experience specialist will then contact every qualified customer to do a needs assessment to determine which speed best meets their household’s needs, noting the program provides free installation and modem rental, unlimited data and no credit checks. This personalized experience will ensure the unique needs of every customer are met, including online schooling, accessing online social supports and job searches, attending virtual medical appointments, and combatting social isolation by staying connected to loved ones virtually.
“We know that COVID-19 is having a disproportionate impact on vulnerable populations and those living in poverty in Canada – with a growing digital divide in who can access much needed supports,” says Daniele Zanotti, President & CEO, United Way Greater Toronto. “For an isolated senior trying to book their vaccine, a mom reaching out for crisis counselling or a furloughed worker trying to re-enter the workforce, digital access is no longer a luxury – it’s a necessity.”
“Women fleeing violence will greatly benefit from this program with Rogers, particularly in rural areas,” adds Kaitlin Geiger-Bardswich, Communications and Development Manager, Women’s Shelters Canada. “We know that domestic violence comes in many forms – including financial and technological abuse. Safe, affordable connectivity is essential for women and children to access services, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. This program will enable countless women to receive the counselling and safety planning they need, stay in touch with loved ones, apply for jobs, and attend on-line schooling, all of which helps them – and their children – to live lives free from violence.”