The Bragg Creek Community Centre has launched a new program to ensure those who require reliable Internet access have their needs met during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To help those affected by COVID-19, the BCCC has launched a program to provide Internet access to those who are still working from home or students who are attending school online, according to Christine Pollard, the community centre's program and event manager.
“We saw a need for a service here in our community,” she said.
Internet speed and access is a major issue for many in the hamlet, according to Pollard, and has been so for a number of years. The early months of the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need even more for reliable access to online services, she said, as more people worked from home and students transitioned to at-home learning.
“It’s a challenge on a good day. Factor in COVID and it makes it even worse,” Pollard said.
She said BCCC decided to launch an option to access the Internet from the community centre because it has the best and most reliable Internet in Bragg Creek.
They have created a co-working space where people who need to work remotely can come. The workplace will be upstairs in a room overlooking the auditorium area. Pollard said 12 "pods" will be available and have been designed to be COVID-19 safe.
Those that access the program will have access to a desk and an Internet connection, said, adding each pod will have six-inch-high dividers and will be 42 inches deep.
“Once you’re sitting at your desk, you are completely surrounded by workspace and you’re not going to be in anybody else’s space,” Pollard said.
The program is one of many adaptions that have been made since the community centre reopened with COVID-19 public health measures in place.
“We’ve had to pivot a lot,” Pollard said, explaining many programs and events that would normally be offered in the fall have been put on hiatus. “We’re not able to do a lot of things because we can’t run them safely.”
The Internet pods officially launched Sept. 14. Pollard said once Bragg Creek residents are more aware of the program, she expects a steep uptick in people accessing the Internet at the community centre.
“It will be needed now more than ever," she said.