North Grenville to offer free internet to students

·2 min read

Students in North Grenville struggling to work from home with poor Internet service will soon be able to access free high-speed Internet at the municipal centre three days a week. The municipality of North Grenville is welcoming students into the North Grenville Municipal Centre (south arena entrance) to access free internet for school related activities starting Monday, Nov. 2. “With more people working and learning from home, high speed internet access has been a real challenge for many people in the community,” said Mayor Nancy Peckford.

Students wishing to access the service will have to book a time slot in advance by calling the municipal offices at 613-258-9569 extension 123. Slots will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis and where demand is low students will be able to book back to back slots. The initial launch provides space for four students during each hour block between 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

“The initiative will be reviewed once it’s up and running and if the demand is there we would take it to council to approve, but we’d be willing to look at opening additional time slots if needed,” said Tammy Hurlbert, recreation co-ordinator.

According to Hurlbert, the initiative was council driven and was brought to staff to implement.

The municipal centre is just one of several places in North Grenville where students can access high-speed Internet. The North Grenville Library and the Kemptville Youth Centre also provide opportunities for students to access Internet for schoolwork.

Anyone choosing to access the service at the Municipal Centre will be required to follow all the municipal safety protocols such as: wearing a mask or face covering at all time and respecting proper physical distancing; entering at the south arena entrance, going through screening and providing contact tracing information; working independently at their assigned workstations and bring all their own devices and supplies.

Students will be only be allowed access to the facility during their reserved time slot and must leave the premises at the end of their reservation.

“Council has heard from so many families who do not have access to reliable, rural broadband, especially during this time of the pandemic where there is so much pressure on the system,” said Peckford.

Heddy Sorour, Local Journalism Initiative, Brockville Recorder and Times