WiFi in Wells Cathedral – FAQs

Over the next month, we will be finalising the process of setting up WiFi throughout Wells Cathedral thanks to our new partnership with Voneus, who have installed unobtrusive WiFi antennas to the top of the Central Tower. This has huge benefits to both the Cathedral and the City of Wells, and will allow us to enter a new digital age. So you can find out more about what we’ve installed, and how you can benefit if you live in and around Wells, we have put together a selection of Frequently Asked Questions:

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What has been installed on the Central Tower?

Voneus has installed antennas to the top of the tower, to receive and then transmit WiFi signals at low level radio frequencies. These are the same frequencies that are used by your WiFi router in your home.

What will this transmitter do?

The transmitters will provide transformative, Superfast broadband services to the Cathedral, as well as to the residents and businesses of the City of Wells. The transmitters use something called Beamforming Technology which means that unlike the Wi-Fi router in your home, that transmits in all directions to communicate with devices in your house, the transmitters we have installed form a very narrow beam between the Cathedral tower and the customer premises – not unlike the focused transmission of a laser beam.  This means there is little to no leakage outside of the beam itself. This will allow Voneus to offer Superfast broadband (30-50 Mbps for homes and up to 100 Mbps for businesses) to any building which has direct line of sight to the top of the Cathedral tower.

What are the benefits to the community? How do I sign up?

The transmitters will allow residences, or businesses with direct line of sight to the Cathedral Tower to benefit from Superfast broadband (30-50 Mbps for homes and up to 100 Mbps for businesses). To find out more, and to sign up, please contact Voneus directly using 0800 007 3377 or sales@voneus.com.

What are the benefits to the Cathedral?

Superfast broadband in the Cathedral will give us the opportunity to begin exploring exciting new projects that rely upon fast and reliable WiFi connectivity. Things like live broadcasting of services and concerts or a tour-guide app that allows users to receive information about different parts of the Cathedral as they explore the space. The improved connectivity will also significantly speed up the day-to-day running of the Cathedral, as well as allowing us to seamlessly sell tickets for tours, concerts and events online, at the Welcome Desk and in the Shop.

Is the transmitter the same as a mobile phone mast?

No, the transmitters use very different technology to mobile phone masts. The antennas we have installed are incredibly safe (confirmed by both a UK Government analysis and by the World Health Organisation), to the extent that the Equivalent Isotropically Radiated Power (“EIRP”) of these devices is less than the mobile phone in your pocket!

Do you have any plans to install a mobile phone, or 5G mast?

No, the Cathedral will never install a mobile phone, or 5G mast.

Will this equipment contribute negatively to my health, that of wildlife or flora and fauna, either in the Cathedral or outside?

No, this equipment is universally considered to be safe to all forms of life as it only uses non-ionising radio waves.

 

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How can I find out more?

If you’d like to find out more, you can come and visit the Voneus trailer, which will be in place outside the West Front of the Cathedral from 20 to 27 January – you can ask questions to Voneus staff, find out more about the WiFi, and how you can sign up, and can watch a video showing how the antennas were installed, which happens to include some amazing drone footage of the Cathedral!

If you have any further questions, then please feel free to get in touch with our Director of Marketing and Communications.