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Getting Connected - Janet's Story

Tuesday, 12 December 2023

The Scottish Government’s R100 Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme (R100 SBVS) has helped thousands of people connect to faster broadband across the country. One of those people is Janet from Duns in the Scottish Borders.

The scheme helps people access faster broadband by offering a subsidy of up to £5,000 to eligible premises – this covers all direct installation costs, which is carried out by an R100 SBVS registered supplier.

We spoke to Janet who has lived in countries including Zambia and South Africa, worked as a nurse and, later on in life, helped older people with dementia. She came to settle and retire in Scotland, but with no family nearby, she relies upon the internet to stay connected.

The opportunity to use the scheme to fund the new installation was brought to her attention by GoFibre, who are one of more than 40 R100 SBVS registered suppliers. Not only did they connect Janet’s home to faster broadband, but over 20 neighbouring properties benefitted as well.

Janet explains, “GoFibre were very good, they got the ball rolling and they told me what to do and they helped me all the way through it. And if I have problems, they are here quick, they literally come and sort it out straight away. They even went above and beyond by helping me set up my desktop and printer!

“I have one neighbour with a son; he enjoys online gaming. When he tried to download something it would clog the system. Of course we didn’t mind this, but now that the new connection is installed there are no issues like that now.”

Janet explained that the connection has made a huge impact on her life as it lets her connect with friends and family on other continents. If she didn’t have the connection she said she’d be very isolated.

“I have friends and family all over the world; America, South Africa, a niece in Australia, friends in Poland and New Zealand. I’m here at home with my dog, but with this connection I can chat, video call and even send e-cards to everyone. If I didn’t have the connection, I would feel alone and quite honestly wouldn’t be very happy.”

A lot of everyday tasks have been taken online. Although Janet knows she could do more online she still likes to get out of the house to shop and do her banking. She knows a lot of her friends do everything online, but she feels she needs to find the right balance.

“If you don’t use it, you will lose it! I was in an accident and damaged my leg and I’m not as stable on my feet as I once was, but still want to do my best to get out and about. I am proud of how well I’ve developed my technical skills. A lot of us older people are the same, we’re getting better at it and to anyone over 70 it's so much more important for them to get connected, even though they might get over-looked when it comes to digital.”

Neil Conaghan is the CEO for GoFibre and he said, "It's stories like Janet's that are the reason GoFibre exists, and in partnership with the R100 voucher scheme we're on a mission to connect thousands of people and create even more great success stories for those lucky folk who get to live in rural Scotland, but don't yet have the connections they deserve."

The R100 SBVS and its registered suppliers work together to bring faster broadband access to homes and businesses, and to help people like Janet. There are still vouchers available.

Get involved

Visit our Vouchers section to find out more about the process of engaging a supplier – who will apply to the scheme on your behalf – and to check out some of the technologies that may be available to you.

Find out if you’re eligible for the R100 SBVS by entering your postcode into our online address checker.