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Low cost access to the internet is essential in modern society. Support is growing for landlords to provide this access in rental housing.
A pilot project launched Thursday is offering Toronto Community Housing residents affordable Internet access.
This project is setting an example of what can, and should, be done by landlords across Ontario.
Rogers teamed up with Microsoft, Compugen and Toronto Community Housing Corp. to create Connected for Success, a program offering 30 GB of broadband Internet for $9.99 a month and subsidized computers ready to go with software for $150.
“Twenty per cent of the population of Toronto Community Housing has access to Internet and computers, whereas the rest of Toronto would be more like 80 per cent,” said Rob Bruce, president of communications at Rogers.
“We talked a lot about the digital divide in rural markets, but there’s a real digital divide that goes on in cities.”
Tiana Turner was among a few dozen residents of TCH’s Cooper Mills housing complex near Dundas St. W. and Scarlett Rd. who came out for the launch. Turner said the affordable Internet package is a relief because she has to go to her mother’s house when she needs to go online. Turner, who has two young daughters and doesn’t own a computer, said she plans to sign up as soon as possible.
“I’m going back to school in September, so that would be good.”
Children at the launch ate vanilla-frosted cupcakes and tested out the desktop computers lined up against the wall.
“I either go on games, or I go on YouTube to listen to music, or social networks,” said Violet Brown, 12, who added she spends a few hours a day on the Internet.
“With all of these things, you have to start somewhere,” he said, adding that down the road they would look at providing affordable access to other Toronto residents.
Bridging the Digital Divide is a key for prosperity for all. It's time for all landlords to ensure low cost access to the internet.
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