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By: MarkJ - 26 January, 2011 (7:53 AM)
hereford locationAllpay (Allpay Broadband), which operates both an ISP and around 2000 payment schemes for public and private sector organisations, has announced that more than a dozen rural Herefordshire villages are to be blessed with faster broadband connections in the next six months following the official launch of the UK's first Broadband Licence for Churches.

The first rural West Midlands communities to benefit from the new Licence and related networks will be Peterchurch, Madley, Preston-on-Wye, Staunton-on-Wye, Credenhill, Burghill, Callow and Wellington. The vicar of Kingstone Church, Rev. Clare Dyson, was the first to receive the licence last week.

Kingstone is understood to be the first church in the Diocese to have broadband equipment installed with allpay using its tower to beam a wireless signal to more than 150 customers across three communities. It follows a successful pilot study in the parish, which will now be used as a blueprint to roll the service out across rural parts of Herefordshire and South Shropshire.

Allpay’s Marketing Director, Nick Peplow, said:

"When you think about it, what we are seeing here is two local organisations coming together to find a local solution to a local problem that affects thousands of rural residents and businesses. Perhaps more importantly, this is a private enterprise that is not reliant in any way on state funding. We will go where there is the demand, so please register your interest with us."

Customers of the service can expect to receive broadband download speeds of between 4Mbps and 35Mbps, depending upon which package choice they pick; prices start from around £20 per month with an "Unlimited" usage allowance (Fair Usage Policy). Churches will also receive an annual fee of £500 for allowing their premises to host the equipment. Perhaps we should have started the article with a title like, "God helps rural UK communities get broadband" cheese .
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