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Caldey Island Monks Get 30Mbps Broadband
By: MarkJ - 31 July, 2008 (1:29 PM)

Caldey Island's 15-strong community of Cistercian monks has been brought into the 21st century thanks to a Pembrokeshire-based wireless telecommunications specialist. TFL Group installed the 30Mbps connection, which can be upgraded to 100Mbps, after it became clear that BT was unable to provide the modern infrastructure necessary to support the Abbey commercial enterprises, which enable the community to remain self-funding:

Broadband access has made a huge difference to our internet usage,” commented Father Daniel, the Abbot of Caldey Abbey. “Patience is one of the characteristics of monastic life, but even the patience of the Brothers was being tested by our slow, dial-up internet service. We knew we needed a faster connection, but we had almost given up trying to find a workable solution which would give us an internet connection at speeds enjoyed by others on the mainland. We have many plans to develop our commercial activities now we have a modern, high speed communications link,” he added.

We are absolutely delighted to have been able to provide the community at Caldey Abbey with state-of-the-art wireless broadband access,” commented TFL Group director Jonathan England. “BT’s conventional broadband service effectively stops at Tenby Harbour and is unable to cross the short stretch of water to Caldey. In these situations, wireless broadband can be delivered simply, quickly, cost-effectively and with minimal distruption,” he added.

Caldey Island’s new wireless broadband service is being beamed directly to a receiver mounted inside the Abbey’s tower (in keeping with its listed building status) - from where it is then distributed throughout the Abbey, as well as to other Abbey buildings - from TFL’s communications tower at Pentlepoir, near Saundersfoot.

Monks first came to Caldey in the 6th century and the Cistercian order has occupied the present 100-year old monastery since 1929. The community supports itself with the manufacture and sale of its own range of locally produced goods, including perfumes, fragrances and confectionery, which are available to visitors and also sold online, via the community’s web shop.


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