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ACORN Canada report on internet accessibility reveals home-internet costs taking big bite out of people's food budget
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb 2, 2016) - On February 2 ACORN Canada members in Calgary, Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver are releasing a report summarizing 400 testimonials from low-income Canadians about how vital yet unaffordable home internet is. The Internet for All report was created as a part of ACORN's campaign challenging the telecom industry and regulators to ensure broadband internet costs are accessible to low-income Canadians.
"As my child gets older more and more of her special education lessons will require the internet," says one of the report's respondents from Ontario. "I worry that she'll fall behind because I can't afford anyone's rates."
The report reveals that for low-income earners costs are extremely prohibitive and can lead to hardship. 58.9% of respondents revealed that the price of internet is extremely high and they cannot afford it BUT because they need home internet for everyday activities they are forced to take money out of budget items such as food and rent.
"Access to the internet is a right," says Marva Burnett, ACORN Canada President. "How can low-income families get out of poverty if they can't apply for jobs, can't access government services... our kids can't do their homework. Libraries and coffee shops are not a solution."
In light of the current CRTC review of basic telecommunication services, ACORN Canada recommends that the CRTC create a subsidy mechanism so that low income families can afford home broadband internet. With the CRTC presently holding focus groups in small communities on telecom services, ACORN is asking the regulator to also hold them in low-income urban communities, so that low-income urban families can present their views in person as well.
ACORN Canada - the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, Canada - is among the nation's largest organizations of low- and moderate-income families, with over 80,000 members in more than 20 communities working together for social and economic justice.
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