UK church spires used to boost phone, wi-fi signal

Church spires across Britain will be used to boost broadband, mobile phone and WiFi connectivity in rural areas. (Shutterstock)
Updated 19 February 2018
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UK church spires used to boost phone, wi-fi signal

LONDON: Church spires across Britain will be used to boost broadband, mobile phone and WiFi connectivity in rural areas, under a deal struck between the government and the Church of England, it was announced Sunday.
“This agreement with the Church of England will mean that even a 15th century building can help make Britain fit for the future,” said Matt Hancock, the minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
The CoE has 16,000 church buildings and around 65 percent of its churches are located in rural communities, making them ideal hosts of key digital infrastructure.
There are currently more than 120 cases of broadband and mobile services being delivered from parish churches, from wireless transmitters fitted in spires and towers, to aerials, satellite dishes and fiber cables.
“We know that rural churches in particular have always served as a hub for their communities,” said Stephen Cottrell, the bishop of Chelmsford in southeast England, where the church has already helped boost broadband access.
“Encouraging churches to improve connectivity will help tackle two of the biggest issues rural areas face — isolation and sustainability.”


’Pig’ British tourists to be deported from New Zealand

Updated 16 January 2019
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’Pig’ British tourists to be deported from New Zealand

  • The family have been involved in a string of incidents in the country, including accusations of littering, assault, not paying for restaurant meals and intimidating behavior
  • "They're worse than pigs and I'd like to see them out of the country," Auckland mayor said

WELLINGTON: Members of a British family have been branded “worse than pigs” and face deportation from New Zealand after a spree of bad behavior that left normally easygoing Kiwis outraged.
The family have been involved in a string of incidents in and around Auckland and Hamilton, including accusations of littering, assault, not paying for restaurant meals and intimidating behavior.
Auckland mayor Phil Goff led national outcry at the tourists’ antics, demanding the police take action. “These guys are trash. They are leeches,” he told a local radio station.
“If you say one time ‘I found a hair or an ant in my meal’ you’d believe it but they find it every meal that they have as a way of evading payment. That’s a criminal activity.
“They’re worse than pigs and I’d like to see them out of the country.”
New Zealand’s assistant general manager of immigration, Peter Devoy, said the family had been issued with a deportation notice on the grounds of “matters relating to character.”
One 26-year-old member of the family on Wednesday pleaded guilty to stealing NZ$55 ($37) worth of goods from a petrol station.
The family attracted extensive media coverage in New Zealand after a video showed them leaving beer boxes, bottles and other rubbish strewn on a popular beach.
When a woman asked them to clean up their litter, a child in the group can be seen on video threatening he would “knock your brains out.”
Stuff Media reported that one family member hit a journalist with her shoe after being approached for comment.
A member of the family told the New Zealand Herald they have now decided to cut short their holiday and will return home this week.
John Johnson insisted his family were of good stock, claimed his grandfather was the “10th richest man in England” and said he was made to feel “very unwelcome” in New Zealand.