Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 19°C

Search

Church tower broadband firm aims to spread its reach across the region

PUBLISHED: 16:35 22 February 2017 | UPDATED: 16:35 22 February 2017

WiSpire. Picture: SIMON FINLAY

WiSpire. Picture: SIMON FINLAY

A scheme which uses church towers to improve broadband signal in hard-to-reach areas is aiming to spread its service into Suffolk.

Norwich-based WiSpire has also been named in the top 10 suppliers for a Broadband Delivery UK-administered voucher scheme – installing systems for 132 customers in the last four months of 2016 with another 300 expected to come on-board in 2017.

And people whose premises endure connection speeds of 2MBps or below are being urged to apply for the subsidy.

WiSpire has installations at more than 40 churches and other tall buildings in Norfolk and is hoping to bring 10 more online this year – with churches in Suffolk among the targets.

David Broom, business development manager at WiSpire, said: “We get inquiries on almost a daily basis from around the country but at the moment we are mainly focused on Norfolk.

“We look at the topographical landscape and the natural next step is across the border to Suffolk and parts of Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire.

“There are some very flat landscapes which are good but we also look for places where we know there are some customers who will use it.

“To make a church live is quite expensive so it needs to make business sense.”

With the Better Broadband for Norfolk programme, run by Norfolk County Council and BT, targeting superfast broadband for 95% of Norfolk by 2020 the business, which has a turnover of around £600,000, is aiming to provide connections to the 5% left behind.

Mr Broom said: “We have quite sophisticated planning tools to look at particular areas where the BT superfast programme is expanding and where is still needing a connection.

“Lot of these areas tend to be small, rural hamlets where the challenge is having the infrastructure available.

“Putting a mast there would be very expensive but if you already have a tall building there then you can make use of that – which is what we do.”

With the rise of 4G signal, which is being led by mobile phone networks, there is also the opportunity to use it to provide internet connections to clients.

WiSpire connects businesses and schools as well as domestic properties and uses satellites as well as church-based solutions.

Jimmy’s Festival kicked off with a day of novelty and nostalgia, as a host of families came together to watch both new talent and familiar faces take to the stage.

A motorcycle rider was arrested for drug driving after being found with no driving licence, no MOT and no insurance.

The director of the splash park at Alton Water that became infected with dangerous blue-green algae has announced the company will be offering full refunds to any customers unable to reschedule their bookings.

How do you Enjoy Woodbridge More? That was the question we asked our iWitness community last week.

Don’t be alarmed if the first thing you see when you arrive at Kidzfest today is a queue. It is not a sign of things to come.

An 87-year-old German-speaking man reported missing from Ipswich earlier today has been found safe and well, police have confirmed.

Alton Water is just the latest casualty of blue-green algae, as the toxic blooms have flourished in hot weather.

Families heading to Jimmy’s Farm today will want to pack plenty of suncream as forecasters predict scorching temperatures accompanied by high UV levels.

This week fans will get to meet their heroes at the Ipswich Town open day, a tradition that dates back decades.

Visitors to a popular reservoir have been told not to enter the water after dangerous blue green algae was found.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24