Blog Post

Connecting Families & other low cost internet options

By: Marco Campana
December 18, 2023

The Connecting Families Initiative (CFI) is a Government of Canada program that provides more affordable Internet services to eligible Canadians. Those eligible for Connecting Families will be contacted directly. However, a number of the participating Internet Service Providers also offer other targeted programs for low-income Canadians to access low cost internet and mobile services. In some cases this includes Government Assisted Refugees. Find out more.

Connecting Families

  • With the Connecting Families Initiative 2.0, eligible participants will have an added Internet offering: 50 Mbps download speeds (or if less than 50 Mbps, the fastest speed available to households in that region) and 200 GB of data usage each month at the discounted rate. No equipment or installation fees will be applied. The existing $10 Internet plan offering under Connecting Families 1.0 also remains available.
  • Eligible households will receive a letter from the Government of Canada. This letter will contain an access code that is needed to sign up for Connecting Families through a secure online portal.The access code will be valid for the entire duration of the initiative, provided the household continues to be eligible; however, access to the discounted Internet offering will depend on availability.

Participating Internet service providers (ISP) to date include Access Communications, Bell Canada, CCAP, Cogeco, Hay Communications, Mornington, Novus, Rogers, SaskTel, Shaw, Tbaytel, TELUS, Videotron and Westman Communications.

Most ISPs have additional information on their websites. Some have other programs you can also access.

A number of participating ISPs also have other programs to provide low cost internet options. You can apply directly to many of these programs, or support clients to apply. Some offer programs specifically for Government Assisted Refugees. If you are a RAP provider, contact those companies (listed below) to partner and get supports for your GAR clients.

Rogers Connected for Success - Ontario focus. Programs:

TELUS Connecting Canada - Internet for good available in B.C., Alberta and some regions of Quebec. Mobility for good across country. Programs:

  • Mobility for Good with RAP-specific partners in Ontario, BC, Alberta, Quebec, TELUS offers them free mobile phones and low-cost mobility plans distributed by our partner organizations. If you’re a resettlement agency supporting government-assisted refugees with their immediate needs when they first arrive in Canada and wish to inquire about partnership opportunities, please email connectingforgood@telus.com
  • Mobility for Good - focused on providing youth aging out of foster care and low-income seniors with a low-cost cell phone and data plan
  • Mobility for Good for Indigenous Women at Risk - provides free smartphones and data plans to Indigenous women at risk or surviving violence.
  • Internet for Good - connecting families in need, youth aging out of care, people with disabilities and low-income seniors with low-cost Internet

Mornington Connecting Families -  4 cities in rural SouthWestern Ontario

Cogeco Connecting Families - Ontario

Hay Communications Connecting Families - Ontario

Novus - Connecting Families - Metro Vancouver

SaskTel - Connecting Families - Saskatchewan

Shaw - Connecting Families - Western Canada (but was taken over by Rogers so confirm availability)

Tbaytel Connecting Families - Thunder Bay. Additional programs:

  • Phones for Families - eligible families with a child(ren) in local school boards are provided a landline at no cost.
  • Newcomer Support - All requests for support must be initiated by the newcomers' sponsors
  • Mobility Accessibility Services - A person with a disability that limits their device use or increases their reliance disproportionately on voice, data, or text may be eligible for a 50% discount off their monthly wireless plan and additional billable wireless features and services.

Videotron - Connecting Families - Quebec

Neither Bell Canada nor Westman Communications have information I could find on their sites about Connecting Families or other programs, but they are participants in Connecting Families.

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