Church spires could play a key role in bringing wifi, broadband and mobile access to rural areas through a new agreement between the Church of England and the Government.
The Church of England has signed an accord with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), setting out how churches and other church properties could host new digital infrastructure.
Two-thirds of Church of England parishes are located in rural areas including some of the remaining mobile and wifi ‘blackspots’.
Some churches have already taken up the challenge and currently looking into the possibility.
What should your parish do next?
Guidance notes from the Church Buildings Council outline the issues involved and explain how to go about exploring the possibilities, as well as the guidance from Historic England:
You could then approach some telecommunications providers to see if there is a need for masts in your area. It would also be a good idea to discuss the proposal with your Inspecting Architect.
Please note that the installation of telecommunication masts does require a faculty and you may also need planning consent if changes to the exterior of the building are necessary.
You can read more about the new agreement here
Is your church a digital hub? Are you considering installing a mast or have you done so already? We'd like to hear from you.
Please email Lisa.firstname.lastname@example.org