Church of England to Boost Internet
Spires and towers of the Church of England to be used to boost connectivity in rural areas.
18:47 21 February 2018
The Government and the Church of England has signed an agreement aimed at using the Church of England’s buildings to help obliterate blackspots in rural areas. The move came after the dioceses of Norwich and Chelmsford pioneered schemes to encourage the use of their building to help improve the reach of high speed internet.
The move was welcomed by Mobile UK stating that operators, including EE, Three, 03 and Vodafone, would “extend their use of churches to increase mobile coverage and capacity while respecting the church environment.”
Matt Hancock, the Digital Secretary, said: “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.
Meanwhile, the Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell, the Bishop of Chelmsford, said that in a "digital world", he regarded the deprivation of signal in some areas as "a very serious impoverishment of peoples' lives.
"In rural communities this is a very real issue which people in towns and cities often don't fully appreciate. "In that spirit we want to do what we can to help make this as accessible as possible."
He added: "We've got an awful lot of buildings with towers and spires so it seemed a very practical way in which we could be serving our communities."