Bridging Digital Divide: Rogers expands Connected for Success low-cost and reliable high-speed Internet program to help more Ontarians
Program now available to anyone in Rogers service area receiving income support through Ontario Works, the Ontario Disability Support Program, or seniors receiving Guaranteed Income Supplement
Expansion includes addition of faster speed options to further support growing connectivity needs
TORONTO, March 10, 2021 – Today, Rogers Communications announced it is expanding eligibility for its Connected for Success™ program to help bridge the digital divide for more Ontarians, in addition to offering more speed options to support evolving connectivity needs. The Canadian first of its kind reliable, 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. At Rogers we want to help ensure that no Canadian is left behind in accessing affordable Internet options,” said Joe Natale, President and CEO, Rogers Communications. “We were the first to introduce a program to help low-income Canadians connect and are pleased to expand today to help more Ontarians with additional options to meet their needs. 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. 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,” said The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “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,” said 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.”
“Even prior to the pandemic Rogers was at the forefront of ensuring that Ontarians who live in non-profit housing had affordable access to Internet and we are pleased to be partnering with them on the launch of this initiative to ensure no one is left behind as connectivity needs become more complex for families,” said Andrew McKenzie, Director of Operations, Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association. “This along with Rogers ongoing commitment to expanding their services to remote and rural communities in the province are continued steps in the right direction for our tenants. I’m personally excited about the positive impact this will have for kids who made the transition to online learning; knowing that they will be able to do so with reliable service from the comfort of their home, which for some, has not been the case during the pandemic. This is an important program for our providers and the tenants they serve.”
Supporting Ontarians through the Connected for Success expansion, also announced today in New Brunswick and Newfoundland, is just one of the ways Rogers is committed to bridging the digital divide to meet critical connectivity needs for Canadians. Throughout the pandemic, Rogers provided thousands of devices and plans as digital lifelines to women’s shelters, and to youth organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada to keep youth connected to mentors, in addition to providing annual Ted Rogers Community Grants and Ted Rogers Scholarships to support the next generation. In partnership with the Jays Care Foundation and Food Banks Canada, the company also provided 9 million meals through donations and food hampers for food banks across the country as part of Step Up to the Plate. This year, in honour of its 60th birthday and as part of The 60 Project, the Rogers team stepped up with a record number of volunteer hours to help make Canada stronger, together.
Rogers is a proud Canadian company dedicated to making more possible for Canadians each and every day. Our founder, Ted Rogers, purchased his first radio station, CHFI, in 1960. We have grown to become a leading technology and media company that strives to provide the very best in wireless, residential, sports, and media to Canadians and Canadian businesses. Our shares are publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RCI.A and RCI.B) and on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: RCI). If you want to find out more about us, visit about.rogers.com.
For more information:
Rogers Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org, 1-844-226-1338