News and Case Studies

Read news and articles on the progress of the superfast broadband rollout in Scotland and more.

It's been life-changing - Jill's Story

Friday, 23 February 2024


Jill is from Banff, a small town in Aberdeenshire, where she lives with her husband. Her older children have now moved out and launched into their own exciting careers, so it’s just the two of them at home, but connectivity remains very important. 

In August, the Scottish Government’s R100 Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme (R100 SBVS) connected Jill’s house to superfast broadband using fixed mobile technology. Jill explains how running her business from home relies on good connectivity and how things have changed since receiving her new service.

“I'm a chartered architect so I run projects from start to finish, working on things like ecological build for a new house, village halls or community hubs. I’m always trying to do things as sustainably as possible so I need the internet to be able to find resources and what’s out there in terms of new materials that could be used.

“Connectivity is really important, I've run my business pretty much entirely digitally. I have a lot of meetings online using video calls which are replacing face-to-face meetings. Of course, there are visits and inspections that need to be done on-site, but the majority of my client meetings are done digitally. It’s great as it has saved me a lot of time and money, but it does require a good connection – you can't be dropping out of a call when talking to a client.

“Before I was connected through R100 SBVS this would often be the case – my calls would drop, I’d lose connection, it was embarrassing and time-consuming. As an architect, I also have to send large files with drawings etc. which would take up whole afternoons! It has been life-changing having a really good supply.”

So far over 3,600 premises have used R100 SBVS to get better connected with another 600 issued. 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.

Jill’s supplier was Northsat, who she praised for a fast and efficient installation. 

“I had heard of Northstat before because of my work in architecture. There were a few suppliers available to do the work but Northsat were definitely the most responsive and keen to take on the job. The process was explained to us and the voucher was applied for on our behalf and before you knew it they were doing the install and we had our new box.

“A few of us in our area got the voucher. We’re in a real dip (location wise) so we had all been struggling, especially when it came to Covid and we were forced to work from home! I keep recommending it to my friends.”

Erik Spence, Managing Director at Northsat was happy to hear about Jill’s experience: "We've found the R100 programme to be a great help for us to deliver the technologies which we specialise in, into homes and business across Scotland. The scheme has helped us build infrastructure which we wouldn’t have been able to do previously due to cost issues. This has greatly benefited communities who now have access to superfast internet”

The difference in connectivity was instant, Jill explains how things were before and how they got involved with R100 SBVS.

“Our rural broadband had been dreadful. We were far from any main connections, at the end of the line so it felt quite hopeless. I’ve been working from home since 2004 so I needed it to work, I used to just struggle through. My husband and I were always on the lookout for new schemes or updates on how we could make it better and that’s when we saw one of the R100 SBVS adverts.

“It is not just my business that has been better connected, I can now talk to friends and family online who don’t live nearby, do online banking, shopping and download my TV shows without it taking a full night!”

If you think you might benefit from the R100 Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme, like Jill, use the links below to check your address. 

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.