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WiSpire Rural Broadband: What is it?

WiSpire Rural Broadband: What is it?

Latest news stories about WiSpire

WiSpire is a joint venture between wireless ISP Freeclix and the Diocese of Norwich. 

WiSpire specialises in fixing wireless broadband transmitters to the spires of local churches to create a wireless network that spans much of rural Norfolk without the need for digging up roads or upgrading telephone exchanges. 

Norfolk’s geography – a relatively flat, wide area dotted with churches – is perhaps the ideal location for a project like WiSpire. 

WiSpire Rural Broadband: What is it?
A snapshot of WiSpire’s progress as of December 2013: 25 sites live, 21 awaiting installation

Where does WiSpire cover? 

WiSpire is also available in the following areas: 

WiSpire Rural Broadband: Where is it available in Norfolk?

Central North West North East South East South West Yarmouth
  • Barnham Broom
  • Eynesford
  • Launditch
  • Mitford
  • Brothercross
  • Freebridge-Lynn
  • Freebridge-Marshland
  • Gallow
  • Greenhoe
  • Lynn
  • Smithdon
  • Erpingham
  • Happing 
  • Holt
  • Tunstead
  • Ashby St Mary
  • Bergh Apton
  • Clavering
  • Depwade
  • Diss
  • Earsham
  • Loddon
  • Clackclose
  • Greenhoe
  • Grimshoe
  • Guiltcross
  • Shropham
  • Theford
  • Wayland
  • Yarmouth

WiSpire has also installed wireless broadband transmitters at churches in the following places: 

  • Ashill
  • Beeston
  • Blofield
  • Carbrooke
  • Erpingham
  • Happisburgh
  • Salhouse
  • Woodbastwick
  • Ringland
  • Postwick
  • Oulton Board

WiSpire says that communities in Barnham Broom, Garvestone, Great Melton, Great Plumstead, Little Melton, Saham Toney, South Walsham and Woodbastwick will soon be able to enjoy WiSpire wireless broadband, with no further information available about dates as of yet. 

What services does WiSpire provide? 

WiSpire has four broadband services providing download speeds ranging from 4Mbps to 8Mbps.

These work out as follows:

WiSpire Home

  • Download Speed: Up to 4Mbps
  • Upload Speed: Up to 500Kbps
  • Monthly Usage: 2GB
  • Monthly Cost: £13/month
  • Installation: £60
  • Misc: Offer of free installation if taken at £22/month for 12 months

WiSpire Home Plus

  • Download Speed: Up to 6Mbps
  • Upload Speed: Up to 1Mbps
  • Monthly Usage: 10GB
  • Monthly Cost: £20/month
  • Installation: £60
  • Misc: Offer of free installation if taken at £30/month for 12 months

WiSpire Home Free

  • Download Speed: Up to 8Mbps
  • Upload Speed: Up to 1Mbps
  • Monthly Usage: Unlimited
  • Monthly Cost: £20/month
  • Installation: £60
  • Misc: Offer of free installation if taken at £30/month for 12 months

WiSpire Business

  • Download Speed: Up to 8Mbps
  • Upload Speed: Up to 1Mbps
  • Monthly Usage: Unlimited
  • Monthly Cost: £40/month
  • Installation: £60
  • Misc: Offer of free installation if taken at £49/month for 12 months, fixed IP address included

All WiSpire packages come without line rental included. So while there are no fixed-line phone calls bundled with WiSpire you can choose to add a telephone service for an extra £6/month. This is the same price for all of WiSpire’s packages.

What technology does WiSpire use?

WiSpire uses Freeclix’s wireless broadband technology. Wireless Broadband (also known as ‘Wi-Fi Broadband’ or ‘Radio Broadband’) is a type of technology which retransmits signals to and from a main radio mast at a high location.

This could be on top of any high point – a hill, a water tower or a church spire. From this master tower, signals are broadcast to networks of smaller towers and receiver units that are installed on the roofs of subscriber’s homes.

Receiving antennas on rooftops can pick up the wireless signal, running down an Ethernet cable into the home where it’s connected to a wireless router.

You then connect your PC, laptop, Mac, games console or whatever device you want to this and surf the web in the normal way.

Read our feature on Rural Broadband for more information on Wireless Broadband and other providers and projects similar to WiSpire.

Main image credit: Flickr user Dave Angood

Previous news stories about WiSpire Rural Broadband

Ashill and Carbrooke churches go wireless 

Ashill and Carbrooke churches go wireless​WiSpire has just announced that wireless broadband is now available to residents in Ashill and Carbrooke, Norfolk.

The churches in Ashill and Carbrooke in Norfolk have had wireless broadband transmitters installed, beaming broadband to those homes and businesses which have line of sight to the church towers.

WiSpire is now operational in 11 towns and villages in Norfolk, with 16 other sites currently awaiting installation.

January 17, 2013

Shipdham All Saints’ Church to spread the Word Wide Web

WiSpire is in talks with Shipdham residents over plans to install a transmitter on the spire of the All Saints’ Church.

The transmitter will bring download speeds of up to 8Mbps and unlimited downloads into Shipdham homes without the need for a phone line, therefore negating having to pay for line rental.

An open meeting is taking place this Friday, September 28 at 7pm to decide whether or not the install will go ahead. Speaking to EDP24, the Rev Louise Alder said that the meeting will help the church council decide whether or not to go ahead, describing the transmitter as ‘small’.

WiSpire Rural Broadband: Shipdham All Saints’ Church to spread the word wide web

The Shipdham exchange is listed by SamKnows as having ADSL Max (up to 7Mbps) enabled but no ADSL2+ (up to 24Mbps). Virgin Media doesn’t yet offer cable in the area and the Shipdham exchange (EASHI) isn’t listed for fibre upgrades anywhere on BT Openreach’s site.

Prior to any exchange upgrades, WiSpire looks to be Shipdham’s best bet for faster broadband.

September 17, 2012

Loddon and Chedgrave added to wireless broadband footprint

WiSpire has added Loddon and Chedgrave to its wireless footprint which is slowly expanding across rural Norfolk. Loddon and Chedgrave’s wireless broadband is served by a transmitter attached to the spire of the Holy Trinity Church in Loddon, serving a 5,000 strong community.

July 12, 2012


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