WiSpire continues its growth as it opens new headquarters
- Credit: SIMON FINLAY
A Norfolk-based internet service provider that uses church spires to improve connectivity has officially opened its new head office.
WiSpire was founded four years ago with the aim of tackling slow internet speeds for homeowners and businesses in some of the county's most isolated areas.
It now provides more than 500 users across Norfolk with a better internet connection by using church spires to transmit and receive data.
And having recently doubled its workforce to 12, the company opened its new headquarters at Rackheath Industrial Estate yesterday.
Steve Maine, chief executive, said: 'Broadband connectivity is a top priority for rural Norfolk and the move to our new offices here in Rackheath has been an essential enabler in the transformation of the company.
'With the additional capacity and greater resilience in our network, we are now able to support a larger number of customers with our range of broadband services.'
The company was launched by the Diocese of Norwich back in 2011, and until July was operating from a garage.
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But earlier this year it sealed a commercial partnership with Archant, the publisher of this newspaper, which is providing it with investment and marketing support.
Archant, as well as the Diocese of Norwich, are both shareholders in the company.
Mr Maine believed the service could eventually be expanded to the rest of England, but said Norfolk was the current focus.
The Rt Rev Graham James, bishop of Norwich, blessed the new offices during the opening.
He said: 'Broadband, as a utility, is increasingly becoming something we cannot live without. [The internet] is a utility and it is essential that in a county like this, people living in rural areas are not further disadvantaged.'
WiSpire's transmitters typically cover an area of 5km, but it has the capability of increasing that range to 10km.
Lisa Power, WiSpire's marketing and communications executive, said on average, users can expect an internet speed of 8MB/s.
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