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!
ACORN has been fighting for affordable, high-speed internet for all for several years. ACORN helped win the federal Connecting Families program back in 2017 but the program falls short on several counts. On top of it, private telecoms offer a patchwork of internet programs, leaving many people struggling to connect. Click here to read more. This calls for the cities to step in and provide municipal broadband network that is publicly owned and managed. Canada-wide Rogers outage was a wake up call for an urgent action. Join us to fight for municipal broadband!
Digital Equity and Health (2018)