Chapter 5: Sources of low-cost or no-cost internet and devices

While literacy and basic skills (LBS) programs provide on-site internet access and devices, learners need their own internet connections and computers at home for sustained access, spontaneous use and opportunities to engage online with private connections. Dependence on public access maintains a cycle of precarity and exclusionary practices. Below is a listing of low-cost data and devices.

Income support recipients (Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Program, Guaranteed Income Supplement, Refugee Assistance Program, Rent Geared to Income tenants* and those who receive the federal maximum childcare benefit) are eligible for a low-cost internet connection through Rogers.

*List of non-profit community housing that can receive a low-cost internet connection.

Telus offers low-cost internet and low-cost cellphone plans. Go here to see if Telus is available.

Low-cost internet

Internet for Good for parents who receive the federal maximum childcare benefit

Low-cost cellphone plans

Mobility for Good for youth who are in foster care or have recently transitioned out of care

Mobility for Good for seniors who receive the GIS

WhistleOut prepaid plans review

If you're helping learners find data deals, check out a comprehensive and up-to-date review of prepaid and pay-as-you-go cellphone plans from WhistleOut. For pay-as-you-go they recommend the $25 plan from Petro-Canada Mobility which lasts for up to four months. 

WhistleOut also has a handy guide to help you figure out how much data might be needed for various online activities.

Refurbished and low-cost computers

Renewed Computer Technology (RCT) 

Electronic Recycling Association

In cities across Canada, including Toronto, the Electronic Recycling Association donates refurbished equipment to organizations. Learn more about their donation program.

Let's Get Together

In the Toronto area, the non-profit Let’s Get Together runs a program to help eligible families receive their own laptop. Eligibility is based on low-income cutoffs. More information about their programs is here.

In addition, non-profits such as Free Geek Toronto and reBOOT Canada sell refurbished computers at low cost.