Let there be WiFi

An event was held today at the Church of  St Cyriac and St Julitta, Swaffham Prior, to celebrate a new addition to the building: equipment as part of a local broadband network. The event was attended by Reach and Swaffham Prior (RaSP) community broadband, CCT and the local media to highlight the partnership between the two groups. St Cyriac's 15th-century tower is the site of the equipment, a radio installation, fitted in order to help bring high-speed broadband to villagers.

RaSP, a voluntary and strictly not-for-profit group, was set up to provide broadband access to members within local villages and was behind the new addition to the church. The RaSP network makes use of a privately leased fibre-optic cable that terminates in Reach to provide a high speed internet gateway. RaSP subscribers are linked in to the fibre gateway using a wide area outdoor wireless network.

Hugh de Lacy, one of RaSP’s technical support personnel says: ‘RaSP was set up to bring faster broadband to a rural area of Cambridgeshire with very poor service. Growing demand has led to severe peak-time congestion on RaSP’s network: the radio point on St Cyriac’s will be a key element in an ongoing upgrade programme to improve the service to our users’.

Being one of the highest points in the village, the tower is the perfect location for the radio equipment as there had previously been difficulties with signals due to the relatively low height of some of the other radio points and a ridge that lies between two of the villages.