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Godspots & gargoyles

In the UK, the houses of God, from the early Renaissance period onwards, are being roped in to bring broadband connectivity to rural communities

Connectivity moving in not-so-mysterious ways
Connectivity moving in not-so-mysterious ways

I had to chuckle to myself. Huawei’s urban trial of 5G wireless-to-the-home taking place in downtown Vancouver is achieving single-user download speeds of more than 2Gbps – all great strides for smart city systems and services of the future.


Meanwhile back in the UK, the houses of God, from the early Renaissance period onwards, are being roped in to bring broadband connectivity to rural communities.


An accord signed by the National Church Institutions (NCIs) of the Church of England, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is encouraging the Church of England to use its buildings and other property to improve broadband, mobile and wi-fi connectivity for local communities.


In total, 65 per cent of Anglican churches and 66 per cent of parishes in England are in rural areas at the heart of their communities and are perfectly placed to address connectivity and coverage issues.

DCMS Secretary of State, Matt Hancock said, “Churches are central features and valued assets for local communities up and down the country. This agreement with the Church of England will mean that even a 15th-century building can help make Britain fit for the future improving people’s lives by boosting connectivity in some of our hardest-to-reach areas.”


Go ahead dioceses of Chelmsford and Norwich are already supporting programmes that use church buildings to support and extend connectivity in rural areas.


The Bishop of Norwich, Rt Revd. Graham James, said, “I welcome this agreement. It builds on what we have been seeking to do in the Diocese of Norwich since 2011 with the creation of WiSpire, a company seeking to use church towers and spires to enable wi-fi connectivity in communities, especially in rural locations.


“Our parish churches are a truly national network, and to use them creatively to create new forms of connectivity enhances their value for the communities they serve.”


Amen to that.


Melony Rocque


Executive editor

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