VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - October 14, 2016) - TELUS (TSX: T) (NYSE: TU) announced today a new pilot program that will offer low-cost Internet service to low-income single-parent families across the province on income or disability assistance. In the coming weeks, approximately 18,000 single-parent families currently receiving assistance from the province will receive a coupon code in the mail. The code will allow them to activate TELUS' offer of Internet service for $9.95 a month. This innovative pilot program is entirely funded by TELUS and comes at no cost to the government or to taxpayers.
"The families participating in the TELUS Internet for Good program will have access to countless opportunities that are often taken for granted," said Darren Entwistle, TELUS President and CEO. "From applying for a job, to accessing online learning, to connecting with distant loved ones, to virtually experiencing vibrant art and music, Internet connectivity will ensure these families are empowered to reach their full potential in our increasingly digital society."
Program participants will also have access to TELUS WISE, an innovative program dedicated to educating Canadians about Internet safety and equipping families with the tools they need to have conversations with their children and loved ones about online and smartphone safety.
"We are pleased to support TELUS with this offer to single parents receiving assistance," said Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation. "Improving connectivity for low-income single parents in B.C. opens more doors to success for them and their families. This pilot project also complements our government's Single Parent Employment Initiative, which is removing barriers to employment for single parents on income and disability assistance."
To ensure all families who participate in the program are equipped to access the wealth of resources the Internet offers, TELUS is collaborating with BC Technology for Learning Society and Decoda Literacy. Through the BC Technology for Learning Society, families who cannot afford a computer will have the opportunity to purchase a refurbished desktop computer or laptop at a greatly reduced rate, while Decoda Literacy will help interested program participants enhance their digital literacy skills.
"TELUS has been a sponsor to our Computers for Schools program for over 20 years and we're thrilled to partner with them now on this bold initiative and finally remove the last piece of the digital divide by placing computers and low cost internet into family homes," said Mary-Em Waddington, Executive Director of the BC Technology for Learning Society.
"Decoda Literacy is proud to be a collaborative partner in the TELUS Internet for Good program," said Diana Twiss, Director at Decoda. "We believe that having strong digital literacy and easier access to technology is essential to the success of children, families and all British Columbians. Through our coordinated network of 102 Literacy Outreach Coordinators working in over 400 communities across the province, we are well-positioned to help improve the literacy skills of learners of all ages."
As TELUS Internet for Good offers the promise of a friendlier future in a digital world, TELUS plans to extend this program beyond British Columbia. The organization is currently working with the provincial government of Alberta to bring TELUS Internet for Good to Albertans before the end of the year.
- Approximately 18,000 single-parent families in B.C. receive income or disability assistance from the provincial government.
- When surveyed about reasons for not having Internet access, low-income parents have cited three main barriers: price, hardware, and education.
- Through this pilot program, eligible single-parent families will receive a coupon detailing how to activate $9.95 a month Internet service from TELUS.
- Participants will have access to up to 25 Mbps download speeds and 300GB of data per month.
- Through collaboration with BC Technology for Learning Society, families who cannot afford a computer can purchase a refurbished desktop computer for $100 or a refurbished laptop for $150.
- TELUS is partnering with the Decoda Literacy Solutions, a provincial nonprofit literacy organization, to ensure that free digital literacy resources including on-line and in person learning programs are available to participants in this program.
- Eligibility for this pilot is based on having been a single-parent family on income or disability assistance on September 20, 2016 and living at an address in a TELUS internet service area.
- The Provincial Government of British Columbia is facilitating the TELUS offer through a mail-out to eligible single parents on income or disability assistance informing them about the pilot program. No personal information has been shared with TELUS.
- This pilot is entirely funded by TELUS and comes at no cost to the government or taxpayers.
- In 2013 TELUS launched a program called TELUS WISE (WISE Internet and Smartphone Education), a free educational program for all Canadians focusing on online criminal activity such as identity theft and cyber bullying. The goal of TELUS WISE is to educate Canadians of all ages to be safer online in this growing digital society by equipping families with the tools they need to have conversations with their children and loved ones about online and smartphone safety.
- Learn more about the provincial government's Single Parent Employment Initiative: www.gov.bc.ca/SingleParentEmploymentInitiative.
TELUS (TSX: T) (NYSE: TU) is Canada's fastest-growing national telecommunications company, with $12.6 billion of annual revenue and 12.5 million subscriber connections, including 8.4 million wireless subscribers, 1.6 million high-speed Internet subscribers, 1.4 million residential network access lines and 1.0 million TELUS TV customers. TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services, including wireless, data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, television, entertainment and video, and is Canada's largest healthcare IT provider.
In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed $440 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered more than 6.8 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. Created in 2005 by President and CEO Darren Entwistle, TELUS' 12 Canadian community boards and 5 International boards have led the Company's support of grassroots charities and have contributed more than $54 million in support of over 4,900 local charitable projects, enriching the lives of more than 2 million children and youth, annually. TELUS was honoured to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to receive this prestigious international recognition.
For more information about TELUS, please visit telus.com
TELUS in B.C.:
TELUS is planning to invest more than $4.5 billion in new infrastructure and facilities across its home province of British Columbia over the next four years. By the end of 2019 TELUS expects to have invested more than $51 billion in British Columbia since 2000 to extend the reach of advanced wireless and wireline telecommunications infrastructure throughout the province. As part of that commitment, TELUS has connected homes, businesses, schools and healthcare institutions in more than 24 communities directly to TELUS' fibre network in order to support sustained innovation and fuel the province's economic growth. The TELUS Health team is leveraging technology innovation to deliver better health outcomes for British Columbians as a leading provider of electronic medical records for physicians and as a partner of the B.C. government in introducing home health monitoring.
In support of the company's philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, team members and retirees have contributed more than $135 million and 3.76 million volunteer hours to charitable and community organizations throughout British Columbia since 2000. Created in 2005 by President and CEO Darren Entwistle, TELUS has 15 local community boards dedicated to supporting local projects. The three Community Boards in B.C. have donated more than $12.9 million in support of nearly 1,500 local charitable projects since inception, in partnership with regional TELUS Community Action Teams.
In September 2015 TELUS opened its new headquarters, TELUS Garden, located in downtown Vancouver. Rich with innovative architectural, technological and environmental features, TELUS Garden is the first office tower in Canada to receive the new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification for sustainable development. The one million square foot development also includes a 53-storey residential tower currently under construction and targeting LEED Gold standards with 424 green homes and retail space.
This news release contains statements about expected future events, including TELUS' projected multi-year capital and operating expenditures that are forward-looking. The investments described for 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 are subject to the ongoing review and approval of TELUS' Board of Directors. By their nature, forward-looking statements require the Company to make assumptions and predictions and are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties. There is significant risk that the forward-looking statements will not prove to be accurate. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a number of factors (such as regulatory and government decisions, the competitive environment, economic conditions, our ability to purchase spectrum licences through auctions or third parties, and our earnings, free cash flow and financial position) could cause actual capital and operating expenditures to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. Accordingly, this news release is subject to the disclaimer and qualified by the assumptions (including the assumptions for our 2016 annual guidance, semi-annual dividend increases through 2016, ability to sustain and complete our multi-year share purchase program through 2016), qualifications and risk factors referred to in the 2015 Management's Discussion and Analysis for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015, which are specifically incorporated by reference herein, and in other TELUS public disclosure documents and filings with securities commissions in Canada (on SEDAR at sedar.com) and in the United States (on EDGAR at sec.gov). Except as required by law, TELUS disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements.