TELUS (TSX:T)(NYSE:TU) announced today a new pilot program that will offer low-cost Internet service to single parent families receiving financial support through the Alberta Works Income Support and Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped programs. In early 2017, approximately 15,000 single-parent families currently receiving assistance through these programs will receive a coupon code in the mail. The code will allow them to activate TELUS’ offer of Internet service for $9.95 a month. This innovative pilot program is entirely funded by TELUS and comes at no cost to taxpayers or the government.
“The families participating in the TELUS Internet for Good program will have access to countless opportunities that are often taken for granted,” said Darren Entwistle, TELUS President and CEO. “From applying for a job, to accessing online learning, to connecting with distant loved ones, to virtually experiencing vibrant art and music, Internet connectivity will ensure these families are empowered to reach their full potential in our increasingly digital society.”
Program participants will also have access to TELUS WISE, an innovative program dedicated to educating Canadians about Internet safety and equipping families with the tools they need to have conversations with their children and loved ones about online and smartphone safety.
“In an increasingly digital world, access to information and communication through Internet can make a big difference in the lives of many Albertans,” said Irfan Sabir, Minister of Human Services. “We are proud to support TELUS in creating an electronic pathway to affordable Internet that will provide single-parent families on Income Support or Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped with access to the resources they need.”
To ensure all families who participate in the program are equipped to access the wealth of resources the Internet offers, TELUS is collaborating with Alberta Computers for Schools (ACFS) to provide families who cannot afford a computer the opportunity to purchase a refurbished desktop computer or laptop at a greatly reduced rate. The Alberta Library will support the program by leading a network of libraries throughout the province that will offer online education in the form of modules available on local library websites, in support of program participants who have limited digital literacy education. TELUS has also partnered with the Royal Conservatory to offer online music education to low income families in Alberta. These programs will help develop young Canadian’s curiosity and appreciation for music, and are available for free to all TELUS Internet for Good participants.
“The Alberta Library and its member libraries work together to promote universal, barrier-free access to the materials and resources in Alberta’s diverse libraries, said Renee LeBlanc, acting CEO, The Alberta Library. “It is our privilege to partner with TELUS and the Government of Alberta to increase access to information and technology for an important and vulnerable part of our population.”
“Alberta Computers for Schools is excited to be a part of the TELUS Internet for Good initiative, said Kari Cope, Executive Director, Alberta Computers for Schools, “In today’s world, it’s vital that everyone have internet access. It’s not a luxury any more … it’s a necessity. Unfortunately, financial realities make this impossible for some. We are very pleased to be partnering with TELUS, The Alberta Library and the Ministry of Human Services to provide Internet and digital access for people across Alberta.”
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