Wi-Fi from the Pews

St. John’s Church in Cardiff is now offering wi-fi broadband access, provided through BT’s Openzone service, gives church-goers the ability to go online from the pews.

BBC News Online quotes the Reverend of St. John’s, Keith Kimber, as saying:

"This church has a strong commitment to be open for people in the city, and of course, if this will encourage more new people into the church, the project will have been a success."

I really can’t imagine people flocking to St. John’s just because they can get wi-fi access there but certainly Rev. Kimber deserves some credit for trying. What I do question is the wisdom of using BT’s Openzone service (which pays "partners" 10% of earnings from the access point they host) rather than simply setting up a free wi-fi base station in the corner – that way, instead of paying a big corporation for access, users could make a donation via paypal for the time they spend online and those who can’t afford access would get to use it for free.