What happened: Telus plans to deliver 10,000 mobile devices to Canada’s vulnerable populations
Why it matters: Initiative is meant to keep people connected to support networks amid pandemic
Telus Corp. (TSX:T) is giving away 10,000 mobile devices to seniors and hospitalized patients in a bid to keep the country’s most vulnerable connected during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Vancouver-based telecom giant estimated Monday (April 20) the value of the giveaway is at least $5 million and includes free rate plans offering unlimited domestic calls and texts in addition to 3GB of monthly data.
Telus said it has already delivered 6,000 free mobile devices and rate plans to seniors, hospitalized patients, homeless people, as well as low-income and at-risk individuals.
“It’s especially terrifying to contemplate the potential health, mental health and economic impacts of COVID-19 for the Downtown Eastside community in Vancouver. The smartphones donated by Telus are helping keep peer support workers connected to community organizations, so they can be a crucial lifeline to those in need,” Central City Foundation CEO and president Jennifer Johnstone said in a statement.
The latest initiative is part of the company’s Mobility of for Good program, which has also offered 20,000 young people aging out of foster care free phones and data plans for two years.
Meanwhile, Telus CEO Darren Entwistle has committed to donating his second-quarter salary to efforts helping frontline health-care workers.
That sum is being matched by the Entwistle Family Foundation.
Telus did not disclose a dollar figure for Entwistle’s donation, however, data collected by Business in Vancouver shows his average quarterly salary for 2017-18 would have amounted to $343,750.
Telus said the donation will be going towards personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves as well as for the purchase of ventilators.