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Telus shows up rivals with low-income broadband offer

Service aims to provide families with good speeds and an ample data usage cap.

telus, new entrant, low-income broadband

Telus Low-Income Broadband:

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Telus is expanding its “Internet for Good” program to Alberta, with an eye to connecting low-income families to broadband for a low price. It’s a worthwhile endeavour that other Canadian internet providers should emulate.

Starting in January, the Vancouver-based company will offer broadband to families that qualify, as identified by the provincial government, for $9.95 a month.

This won’t be crappy service either – download speed will be 25 megabits per second, with 300 gigabytes of monthly usage. By today’s standards, that’s not bad.

Telus hasn’t disclosed the included upload speed, which is increasingly important for cloud collaboration services used by students, but a similar plan on the company’s website lists 5 Mbps. That plan regularly costs $73 a month in Alberta. (Update: A spokesperson confirms 5 Mbps is the upload speed.)

The company originally launched the offer in British Columbia last month, following a similar move by Rogers in Ontario earlier this year, which has since expanded to other provinces.

Rogers’ plan costs $9.99, but its speeds are a far cry from what Telus is offering. Download and upload speeds are only 10 Mbps and 1 Mbps, respectively, while usage is capped at 30 GB. The company says it doesn’t charge for going over, so it’s not clear why there’s a cap listed.

If Telus gets a gold medal in its effort to help low-income families, then Rogers gets silver. Bell, on the other hand gets a lump of coal.

The country’s largest telecommunications company has instead said that broadband access is “fundamentally a poverty issue.” Bah, humbug.

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