Hereford Cathedral is the first in the UK to install broadband antennae in its tower to bring the service to more rural areas.
Herefordshire based internet company allpay Broadband has teamed up with the cathedral to enable villages to the north of Hereford to access its internet services for the first time.
allpay's network of antennae and receivers are placed on high points and within a line of sight of each other.
The height of Hereford Cathedral opens up a 5 mile line of sight radius creating vast opportunities for the expansion of the service, which is available for speeds of up to 35Mb.
Local entrepreneur and owner of allpay Tony Killeen said he came up with the idea for the rural broadband service after listening to frustrated businesses and individuals.
“This is a great step forward for allpay Broadband and for residents across the county who have told us they are desperate to have fast and reliable internet access,” he said.
“Hereford Cathedral has been extremely helpful and forward thinking and will work as a crucial stepping stone in our service.
“We’ve taken great care to ensure that the modern technology does not affect the beauty of the Cathedral’s architecture with each antenna unit colour coded to the tower louvres.”
The agreement between the Cathedral authorities and allpay comes on the back of a unique agreement with the Diocese of Hereford and its Broadband Licence for churches.
The Licence, launched in January this year, provides standard terms and conditions allowing every church in the Diocese to apply for allpay broadband equipment to be installed.
Already available in nine communities, the existing antennas are currently placed on businesses and churches within the Diocese of Hereford.
However, there is a lot of interest for the service to grow rapidly, replacing the service which is very slow and unreliable in many areas of the city itself.
The Dean and Chapter from Hereford Cathedral, The Reverend Canon Andrew Piperm, said he supported allpay’s application to use the cathedral tower as part of their network to extend broadband to our rural county.
“Other church towers around the south of the diocese have also been granted faculties to install such equipment,” he said.
“Extending broadband into the more remote parts of the county is especially important, not only to support local businesses, but also to give young people faster access to the internet, to assist them with their studies.
“Broadband also enables families to keep in touch across continents, using facilities like Skype.”
Four access points have been installed on each of the four sides of the bell tower in addition to a PTP (point-to-point) antenna on the south face of the cathedral which receives the allpay signal from Dinedor.
A subscriber module is then installed on the customer’s property enabling them to receive the service.
Register your interest in receiving the service from allpay Broadband