Guelph library lending out Wi-Fi hotspots because of cash from feds

Local residents will be able to have internet access from the Guelph Public Library thanks to $25,000 in funding from the federal government.

“With this support, we will continue to bridge the digital divide in our community to ensure Guelph residents are able to connect to the essential services and resources they need,” GPL supervisor of programming, outreach and digital services Meaghan Forestell-Page said in a news release.

The grant is part of the second round of the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative. Through the $31-million initiative, the Government of Canada, alongside Community Foundations of Canada, aims to build safer spaces and ensure a higher quality of life for people across the country, by helping communities adapt to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the release said.

The pandemic has highlighted the need for connectivity for a variety of reasons — from working remotely to connecting to social supports, to online learning and more.

The $25,000 grant, which was announced on Friday, March 4, will help the library expand its wireless offerings, with 30 Wi-Fi hotspots and 30 Wi-Fi-enabled tablets that will be available for loan.

“Investments like the one announced today in Guelph are vital to strengthening communities and ensuring no one is left behind as a result of the digital divide,” Guelph MP Lloyd Longfield said in the release.

“Providing access to inclusive internet strengthens our community’s connectivity and in effect, creates a resilient and thriving community,” Forestell-Page said.

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