Ten thousand churches could be used as communication towers in an effort to bring superfast broadband to remote, rural areas across the U.K. under new Church of England guidelines. Superfast broadband—defined as 25 megabits per second (Mbps)—is “on track” to reach 95 percent of U.K. homes by the end of 2017, according to the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS). Connecting the remaining 5 percent—an estimated one million homes—has proved difficult, despite government promises last year to guarantee fast broadband for all by 2020. “We’re getting Britain, all of Britain, online,” Prime Minister David Cameron said in November, when he announced his Universal Service Obligation (USO), aiming to put “access to broadband on a similar footing as other basic services like water and electricity.” However, in a recent consultation , the government altered the original commitment: “It is unlikely that everyone will want to be connected…so we do not believe that an additional broadband roll-out programme at this time is proportionate or would represent value for money,” the document said. The Countryside Alliance, a British organisation protecting rural interests, described the government’s backpedalling as ” very disappointing ,” but supported the further use of church spires to connect more… Read full this story
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