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Pupils' 4G dongles blocked from certain websites

 
Created on 27/05/2020 @ 12:48
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Children in Newtown given 4G dongles to access online learning will not be able to download and listen to their favourite music, it has been confirmed.

Music sites Apple Music and Spotify are on a banned list of websites and music for the dongles that have been issued to children that are from digitally disadvantaged backgrounds.

The dongles are adjusted to protect children from online pornography, gambling sites, voting in television programmes and buying lottery tickets.

At the Learning and Skills scrutiny e-meeting, Councillor Bryn Davies described a blanket ban as “using a sledgehammer to crack a nut”.

Cllr Davies, said: “They are culturally excluded as well, it concerns me that we are stopping them getting to Apple Music and Spotify where 99% of the music is generally quite innocent stuff. It’s using a sledge hammer to crack a nut.”

Head of Digital, Diane Reynolds said: “The agreement between Welsh Government and digital/mobile providers is to stop downloads as much as possible from major sites such as Apple Music.

“They took the stance that they were providing access for digital learning. If you were a parent at home, you would set up your parental controls.

“We’re giving a dongle that’s giving broadband access, we need to make sure that parental controls are on there before they are handed over.”

Education portfolio holder, Councillor Phyl Davies, said: “Music sites such as Spotify are subscription, they are not cheap.

“It is a data hungry exercise downloading files but looking at Facebook feeds is not so.”

By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

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