Internet outages affect online classes in Ontario

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Several Ontario school boards urged students and staff to be patient Tuesday as internet outages affected online classes on the second day of the winter term.

Public and Catholic boards in Kingston, the Windsor area, Halton Region and the Ottawa area all issued notices on social media flagging potential problems with remote schooling as a result of a number of outages.

They said multiple internet providers, including Cogeco, were reporting their services were down.

“Current Internet outage affecting Cogeco, Bell, Rogers and other suppliers’ customers means many students and staff cannot connect for remote learning. Please be patient and learning will resume once the issue has been fixed,” the Limestone District School Board said in a tweet around 11 a.m. on Tuesday.

The Limestone board’s tech support Twitter account, @ITS_LDSB, tweeted that things were back up and “good to go” around 3:30 p.m. “Internet services restored for many ISPs including #Cogeco. Thank you to all of our students, staff and families who continued to demonstrate patience and perseverance throughout the disruption of service.”

The Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board also tweeted about the outage.


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The outages come as students across the province are logging on for online-only classes as part of the Ontario government’s efforts to curb the spread COVID-19.

“We understand there are large internet outages within our communities from various providers. This may impact student and staff ability to access remote learning platforms,” the Upper Canada District School Board, which encompasses 79 schools in the Ottawa area, said in a tweet.

“Please be patient while providers work to resolve these issues.”

The shift to remote learning is part of a provincial lockdown that began on Boxing Day and is set to last until Jan. 9 in northern Ontario and Jan. 23 in southern Ontario.

Students in northern Ontario and elementary students in southern Ontario will resume in-person classes next week, while high schoolers in southern Ontario will continue online learning until Jan. 25.

A parents’ group raised concerns about the province’s plan earlier this week, questioning the rationale for reopening schools for in-person learning so soon when daily case counts are higher now than when the lockdown was first imposed.

With files from Julia McKay

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