The UK government has signed an accord with the Church of England which could extend the reach of mobile broadband services across England and the rest of the UK
The UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has signed a deal with the Church of England, which it hopes will help boost connectivity in Britain’s rural communities.
The accord will encourage churches to become enablers of connectivity to rural communities by placing 4G masts on the church spires.
"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.
"Through its Industrial Strategy, the Government is continually driving the UK’s connectivity, telecommunications and digital sectors, and investing in the skills, industries and infrastructure of the future," said Matt Hancock, secretary of state for DCMS.
The move has been welcomed by government and church officials alike, who agree that boosting connectivity in Britain’s rural communities is a key national priority.
"We know that rural churches in particular have always served as a hub for their communities. Encouraging churches to improve connectivity will help tackle two of the biggest issues rural areas face – isolation and sustainability," said the Bishop of Chelmsford, Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell.
66% of Church of England parishes are in rural locations, meaning that the initiative has the potential to dramatically increase mobile phone and broadband signals for a significant number of the UK’s hard to reach communities.
Improving connectivity for Britain’s rural communities will be a key theme at this year’s Connected Britain event. Click here for a full agenda and to find out how you can be a part of the show.