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Last updated: January 4, 2022
First posted: March 16th, 2020

NCF was founded to connect our community and we understand that access to the Internet, while always crucial, is especially important now as a connection to family, friends and work, as well as critical news and health information.

At this time, we are taking the following steps to protect the health and safety of NCF members, staff, volunteers and our suppliers, while also ensuring a continued high quality of service.

We are taking guidance on health information and best practices from both the Province of Ontario and Ottawa Public Health.

The latest updates to NCF’s COVID-19 response will be posted on this page.

1) Response to the Omicron Variant of Concern: CURBSIDE SERVICE ONLY, Monday - Friday 10am-5pm

To ensure that staff and members are as safe as possible while case counts are rising and with the increased transmissibility of the Omicron Variant of Concern, we are implementing additional safety measures effective December 21/21, including more staff working remotely and moving to curbside service rather than in-office appointments.

Please contact the HelpDesk at 613-721-1773 ext. 0 for remote support. This includes free shipping of all modems. If it is necessary for you to come to the office we are now serving members in the parking lot, in the downstairs lobby or in the upstairs hallway.

We ask that once you arrive you call the office at 613-721-1773 ext. 0 or come to the office door and ring the doorbell.

During the return to Stage 2 of the Roadmap to Recovery starting Jan. 5/22, the office is only open for curbside service Monday - Friday 10am-5pm. We also offer remote HelpDesk support Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm.

2) Symptom screening, masks and hand sanitizer
All staff working in the office complete daily symptom screenings shared with management. We also ask members to check their own symptoms: we have information posters at all entrances. If you have any symptoms, please do not come to the office.

We ask everyone in the building or doing curbside pick-up to wear masks, in accordance with Ontario and Ottawa Public Health recommendations. Staff wear three-ply masks while in the office and we also have disposable three-ply surgical masks available to members who require them.

3) Office hours and remote work

The office is currently open for curbside service Monday to Friday 10am-5pm. The HelpDesk is also available remotely Monday to Friday 10am-5pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-5pm. Please contact the HelpDesk at support@ncf.ca or by calling 613-721-1773 ext. 0. We remain very busy and ask for your patience at this time. We always prioritize members who are out of service but are getting through all our tickets as quickly as possible.

4) Modem testing and loaner modems: drop-off and delivery

We have extended the period for all our loaner modems from two weeks to a month. If you have a loaner modem that you wish to buy, please arrange payment with the HelpDesk.

If you need to drop-off your modem for testing or configuration, please make an appointment to come to the office for curbside assistance or you can drop it off in the lockbox in the lobby stairwell of our offices at 1305 Richmond Road. It will be checked and emptied regularly, Monday to Friday.

We wipe down modems before and after testing and configuration, and encourage you to do the same before you drop them off and after you pick them up.

If you drop off a modem to be tested or reconfigured before 1pm, it should be ready for pick-up by appointment by 4pm the same day for curbside service.

If you are not able to drop off your modem or can drop it off but not pick it up, we can ship it using using Canada Post Expedited delivery, which takes 1-3 business days. To help keep members safe we are currently offering free shipping on all modems. We will send the tracking information, but cannot guarantee delivery timing.

If you wish to purchase a new modem at this time, you can pick it up with curbside service during office hours or we can ship it to you for free at this time.

5) Payment options

We can accept cash and cheques through curbside service but cannot provide written receipts or change at this time. We continue to accept VISA and Mastercard credit and debit, e-transfers, cheques, money orders and pre-authorized debit as remote payment options. There are more details here: help.ncf.ca/Payments_and_Donations

6) Unlimited usage

We're happy to say we have offered our members unlimited bandwidth since 2017, ensuring no one feels they need to limit their internet usage or risk being charged for overages.

7) Continued investment in our network

It has always been a priority for NCF to ensure there is no congestion on our network and as such, we have invested in bandwidth that supports members’ collective usage during peak periods. We are watching network usage daily and anticipate there may be increased usage or a shift in the times of day people are online. Please know we will increase our bandwidth as necessary. If you wish to troubleshoot your current speed or upgrade to a higher speed, please contact the HelpDesk at support@ncf.ca or call 613-721-1773 ext. 0.

8) Digital literacy work

We have a number of digital literacy workshops in the pipeline but have decided to postpone all workshops and other public events for the time being.

We are also looking into ways to ensure that our past and future public education work can be shared online from now on, whether it’s access to a video stream of a workshop or handbooks and worksheets.

9) Adaptability

Because things are changing quickly, we are prepared to change with it as necessary. We will keep members up to date on the NCF StartPage, via our Facebook page and Twitter account, and on this page.

Please take care and feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Shelley Robinson
Executive Director
execdir@ncf.ca
(613) 721-1773 ext. 1001