Ministers have signed a deal with the Church of England to install mobile phone masts on the high spires of rural churches.
Matt Hancock, Digital Secretary of State, says:
“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.
Hancock claims around two-thirds of Anglican churches in England are in rural areas. With their high spires, this makes the old buildings ideal for helping to alleviate the modern problem of rural internet connectivity.
A standard contract will be created in order to make it easier for churches to deal with phone companies looking to install their infrastructure.
Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford, believes the masts ‘will help tackle two of the biggest issues rural areas face – isolation and sustainability’.
If you live in a rural area with poor connectivity, the promise of a mobile signal may even help to persuade youngsters to visit their nearest church.
What are your thoughts on the announcement? Let us know in the comments.