This is the church, this is the steeple. Open it up and see all the ... cellular antennas? New England churches have found a solution to dwindling budgets: renting their picturesque steeples to wireless companies in need of cell sites. Zoning laws don't allow cell towers in residential areas (and residents don't want ugly structures), so wireless companies have had trouble providing coverage to hilly nonurban areas. But since many of New England's historic churches have been grandfathered into local zoning laws, wireless companies can install externally invisible antennas inside steeples. Tom Moylan, president and CEO of SteepleCom, a wireless- consulting firm specifically for churches, figures it's a way for churches to turn water into wine. "The first church we did now has three carriers in it, and they're getting $74,000 a year for space nobody is using anyway," he says.
Full story here.