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ACORN BC wants $10-a-month Internet for low-income homes

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Over half of Canadians earning $30,000 dollars a year or less don’t have in-home Internet, according to Statistics Canada.

ACORN BC is pushing for that to change. It has asked the big three telecom companies to implement $10-a-month Internet for low-income earners.

The average rate for monthly Internet can cost between $30 and $70, a price most low-income Canadians can’t afford, argues Rachel Goodine with ACORN BC.

She claims in this day and age, landing a job without daily web browsing is a huge obstacle to overcome.

“Even having the skills to be able to navigate online, not even being able to find a job on an ad, but most jobs now a days, they expect you know how to move around on a computer and online.”

Goodine argues using other resources like internet cafes and libraries aren’t enough when job competition is so tough.

“A lot of people will argue, ‘well you can go to the library, there are other places to access the Internet to look for employment.’ But people still feel disadvantaged because some people will post a job at 11 o’clock at night. They won’t be able to see the job posting until the library opens the next day. So they’re already at a disadvantage when others have been seeing the ad all night.”

Goodine says ACORN approached the big three telecom companies about providing low-income Internet service, but claims they were hesitant. “They don’t want to define what ‘low-income’ is, so they’re holding off.”

She explains Rogers has implemented a starting point, in that they offer Internet for about $10 a month for people in Toronto who are living in sanctioned social housing.

Goodine and ACORN want to see a reduced rate for low-income people across Canada which is why she and the organization are preparing to take the proposal to the CRTC in hopes of federal legislation.