March 23, 2017 17:10 ET
OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 23, 2017) - ACORN members are disappointed that the 2017 Federal Budget, with $13.2 million over 5 years to "support low-income Canadians' access to broadband," is actually just a corporate subsidy and will result in no new money in the pockets of low income Canadians.
The budget proposes "$13.2 million over five years in a new Affordable Access program, which will provide a confidential portal to allow Internet service providers to offer low-cost home Internet packages to low-income families, bundled together with refurbished computers."
This is a corporate subsidy that relies on the big companies like Rogers, Bell, Telus, and Eastlink to voluntarily create programs.
"ACORN members want their right to the digital economy to be guaranteed, not left to the whims of multi-billion dollar companies," says Tabitha Naismith, ACORN Leader. ACORN members believe the government should be holding the corporations accountable, mandating that they all create programs for low income people who are struggling to afford high speed internet. Currently only Rogers and Telus have created such programs.
The recent CRTC hearing acknowledged that broadband is a vital service and that affordability is a barrier to access, calling on the federal government to address the affordability problem. Unfortunately, this Affordable Access Program is focused on corporate innovation while stifling low income individuals to innovate themselves.
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