The Toronto District School Board’s (TDSB) Wi-Fi network will continue to block Instagram, Netflix and Snapchat.
The TDSB released a statement earlier this year, in May 2017, explaining that access had been blocked because “these sites account for more than 20 percent of our daily network activity and, on our older, slower network, make necessary operational tasks…nearly impossible to complete.”
These operational tasks include logging attendance and scoring report cards. The block was expected to lift in September 2017, in order to assist in speeding up the move to a faster system over the summer.
However, according to an update on the TDSB website, the school board still hasn’t fully completed its network upgrades, meaning students won’t be able to share photos, send snaps or watch content through Netflix.
“While we had hopes to have made a significant dent in this work over the summer, there were unexpected delays and, as a result, access to Snapchat, Instagram and Netflix will continue to be blocked to further ease network congestion,” reads an excerpt from an August 30, 2017 post.
There is some good news for returning students, however. According to the school board, blocking access to these three websites has sped up the network.
“When these three sites were initially blocked, staff reported experiencing faster internet speeds as a result of the reduced traffic and were able to complete necessary operational tasks,” reads another excerpt from the same post. “This continued measure will help alleviate congestion and boost network capacity while minimizing the impact on teaching and learning.”
The TDSB said that the decision to unblock Instagram, Snapchat and Netflix will be “revisited in June 2018.”
For those savvy students who can’t wait until then, CBC News reported in May 2017 that some students were able to access blocked sites through the use of a virtual private network (VPN).