During the COVID-19 crisis, many low-income people are relying on the Internet for school, work, food deliveries, telemedicine, communication with fam. and more. But high prices are causing people to sacrifice other needed items. Further, many low-income people just can’t afford the internet.
Low-income people across Canada, while isolating at home, urgently need unlimited internet access and affordable wireless plans to stay connected to vital services and everyday life.
ACORN did a survey reaching out to close to 600 of our ACORN members in 2019. Out of low-income respondents with household incomes under $30,000, only 80% had home internet. Of the 78 respondents without home internet, 72% identified cost as the main reason. 65% of respondents said they had to sacrifice things like food, medication to afford their home internet.
We need urgent action from the Government, the CRTC and the telecom industry to do the following during the “pandemic and recovery period” and for 6 months thereafter.
Access to the internet is increasingly recognized by countries around the world as an essential tool for participation in modern democratic society. Internet access is guaranteed as a legal right in several countries, and many more countries have publicly announced a commitment to achieving universal broadband access for all citizens. Canada is the only G7 nation without a national broadband plan, and not having access to home internet can lead many Canadians to hardship.
JOIN ACORN Canada in the fight for affordable home access to high speed internet for all residents of Canada!
Digital Equity and Health (2018)