Satellites in church spires to boost rural broadband

Part of the Conservative party's promise to improve broadband for everyone up and down the UK. 

Some of Britain’s most secluded rural areas are set to receive a much-needed boost to their internet service through the installation of broadband satellites in the spires of local churches.

It’s part of the Conservative Party’s promise that by the end of 2017, 95% of the UK will be able to receive superfast broadband capable of reaching at least 24Mbps.

The Church of England have offered up 16,000 different sites all across the UK to ensure that as many homes and businesses as possible can be reached.

Rural broadband is amongst the slowest in the UK with some villages like Miserden in Gloucestershire and Ashwell in Hertfordshire receiving just 1.30Mbps and 1.39Mbps broadband respectively, which is slower than that received all the way up at Mount Everest Base Camp.

One of the biggest reasons for such a huge lack of broadband speed is the fact that it can be very difficult to run a fibre cable through challenging rural terrain.

Digital and Culture Minister Matt Hancock, who’s been positioned to head-up the project, will meet with a number of religious figures this month including Reverend Martin Seeley The Bishop of St Edmunsbury and Ipswich.

“Nine out of 10 UK homes and businesses can now get superfast broadband, but getting to the hardest to reach places requires an innovative approach and a mix of technologies,” said Hancock in an interview with The Telegraph. “We're working with the church to explore how spires might form part of the mix and I am meeting with bishops later this month to discuss this.”

Private companies are expected to pay for the extensive installation in exchange for the broadband contracts that are sure to follow.

Source: The Telegraph

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