COVID-19
Internet connection and access to digital equipment: a challenge in the Pontiac
Article published on 1 May 2020
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Access to quality phone service and Inernet connection in the Pontiac, for teleworking or distance education, remains an important challenge in several sectors which still do not have these services.

A student from the Cégep de l’Outaouais and resident of Bristol, Anaïs Gionet-Laflèche, had to be creative in order to finish some schoolwork. She told CHIP 101.9 how she experiences the problem of having a weak Internet connection in order to be able to complete her session.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, politicians began to speak about the need for fair access to a phone service and an Internet connection, as explained by Pontiac MNA, André Fortin:

Digital material in schools
Access to Internet services and an LTE connection is also a challenge on the territory of the Hauts-Bois-de-l’Outaouais School Board (CSHBO).

CSHBO Director General, Denis Rossignol, acknowledges that distance education for some students starting on May 11th will be more difficult depending on their location, but that it is always possible to provide various means of communicating information in homes.

During the announcement of the gradual reopening of schools, the Minister of Education, Jean-François Roberge, had declared that digital equipment would be loaned to students and staff members to equip those who needed it in order to to complete this school year.

The Ministry has reserved 15,000 iPads with LTE network, which school boards will be able to obtain. Some suppliers, already under contract, will make available equipment with phone service. Telus will also provide free phone connection for these devices until June 30th, 2020. Depending on demand, the devices could however take several weeks to be distributed in the Pontiac, said Denis Rossignol.

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