SAINT JOHN (GNB) – The provincial government has partnered with Rogers to offer its Connected for Success program, which will offer families, seniors and individuals living in public housing the opportunity to benefit from a low-cost Internet access to help them fully participate in the digital economy.

“The low-cost Internet provided by the program will allow our housing clients to improve their computer literacy skills,” said Service New Brunswick Minister Ed Doherty, who is also minister responsible for poverty reduction. “It will also give them an opportunity to enrol in online training programs.”

The expansion is kicking off in Saint John. The service includes speeds of up to 10 megabytes per second for downloads and up to 1 megabyte per second for uploads.

Rogers is investing in communities by expanding its Connected for Success program, which started in Toronto in 2013, to everywhere it provides Internet service.

“From kids connecting after the school day is done to seniors staying in touch with their friends and using banking or government services, Internet access is not a nice to have – it is a necessity in our digital world,” said Ken Marshall, Atlantic president, Rogers Communications. “We have had a tremendous response from our non-profit partners in Saint John and are thrilled to be expanding to the rest of New Brunswick.”

Multiple non-profit housing agencies across the province, which house up to 19,000 families, may also be eligible to enter into a two-year partnership with Rogers as part of the program. All of their residents in rent-geared-to-income units are eligible for the offer and will receive a direct mail letter explaining how to sign up for the program.

“On behalf of everyone in our community who will benefit from this program, we thank Rogers for expanding Connected for Success into our province,” said Ann Driscoll, executive director of the Crescent Valley Resource Centre. “This is a hand up that will truly benefit the tenants we serve.”

A recent Ipsos-Reid study found that while 91 per cent of Canadians access the Internet at home, that number drops to 70 per cent in households with an annual income of less than $25,000.

Residents in non-profit housing receiving the rent-geared-to-income subsidy can call 1-866-689-0758 for more information about the program.