Mytholmroyd Net

Broadband comes to Mytholmroyd

The Two Towers.

Broadband has come early to Mytholmroyd thanks to community endeavour and the support of two local vicars.

The Mytholmroyd (Calder Valley) BT exchange is not due to be enabled for broadband until February, but a local community enterprise, Calder Connect Co-opertive (www.3-C.CoOp) has succeeded in creating a wireless broadband link from the top of the tower of St Thomas's church in Heptonstall to the top of the tower of St Michael's church in Mytholmroyd. This then provides an open connection for anyone in Mytholmroyd who is in range of Mytholmroyd's access point.

Rev James Allison

''Basically anyone near the centre of Mytholmroyd, with a suitable wireless device on their computer, should be able to connect if they want to do so'', said Mark Harrison, Chair of 3-C and a local IT consultant. ''Those who are too far away to connect directly, or who have less sensitive connection equipment, will be able to come to the Sunday School hall and nearby places and connect there''.

Left - Rev James Allison on top of St Michael's Church

The connection, which can be twice as fast as a basic telephone broadband connection and twenty times as fast as a dial-up connection, is free to anyone who wants to use it up until the 11th of February. Registration is not required during the free access period.

''BT OpenZone is offering a free wireless week in late January to those who register for their service'', said Dr Anne Handley, Company Secretary of 3-C who lives in Mytholmroyd. ''Unfortunately, this is mostly in venues such as selected fast food drive-throughs and airport lounges, which are in short supply in the Upper Calder Valley. In addition to the Mytholmroyd connection point we are offering healthy eating alternatives at The Bear in Todmorden, and at Organic House and the Shoulder of Mutton in Hebden Bridge. Our public access points will be free to use for about a month, and will allow people to try the wireless alternative to broadband delivered through a BT phone line for themselves.''

Rev James Allison

Left - Rev Howard Pask at St Thomas's Church

Technical manager of the link project, wireless architect James Quinn, believes that over 300 households could have the possibility of connecting to the Mytholmroyd access point. ''Access will be available 24 hours a day at weekends, and for most weekdays as well,'' he said. ''The link will require occasional maintenance as the towers are over 2 miles apart, whereas our access points normally cover a radius of up to 100 metres. People using the service should be aware that the access points are currently open to everyone, and so do not have the usual high level of security we provide for our registered members' connections through MyZones, our technology partners in secure Wi-Fi''. A permanent installation will be engineered in February.

Rev James Allison of Mytholmroyd, and Rev Howard Pask of Heptonstall, are no strangers to innovation. Rev Allison has previously ministered to a virtual congregation over a university network, with 'parishioners' as far away as Los Angeles, and Rev Pask regularly participates in on line prayer meetings.

3-C members were on hand at the Sunday School in Mytholmroyd on Saturday from 12.30 to 5.00 pm to demonstrate wireless broadband and to answer questions about the community based service.

Wireless workshop They will also be on hand Saturday 31st January and Saturday 7th February. Additional information, and occasional demonstrations of wireless broadband, will also be available at the Todmorden and Hebden Bridge free public access points. Details will be posted on the 3-C website, www.3-C.CoOp.