News and Case Studies

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

Jim Gales

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Jim Gales MBE CF, who lives with his wife Janet and Guide Dog Yannick, in the village of Springfield, near Cupar, has been amazed at the difference fibre broadband has made to him. Jim, who is blind, works from home managing and developing Scottish Disability Golf and Curling, an organisation that promotes sport for people with disabilities in Scotland.


Improved accessibility

“It now takes me five minutes to upload a video that would previously have taken me nearly two hours. The huge time saving means I can work more productively.”

Jim says: “Before we got high speed fibre broadband, I used to really struggle with the internet, as our connection was less than 1Mbps. Now we can rely on speeds of 65Mbps download and 17Mbps upload. This is absolutely fantastic. It has been a real game changer for me.”

Jim has built the website for the organisation himself, using a template he found through Digital Fife. This provides good accessibility through screen reader software. Jim adds: “These days, technology is designed with people with visual impairment firmly in mind. For example, with all Apple devices, you just need to press a certain button and it swaps over to voice. I also use Jaws (Job access with speech) voice accessibility software when using my desktop. With high speed fibre broadband, I can now really make the most of digital technology - I am enjoying fantastic benefits both for work and play."

Faster and more efficient

“For work, the fast speed connections are helping in a number of ways. For the disability sports organisations, video is a particularly important medium for us, as it is through video that we can best convey the excitement of the sports we are promoting. So we make as much use of video as possible, both on our websites and on YouTube. I make some of the videos myself using Imovie and Google pictures. However, the video files are so large that it used to take ages to upload a video to the internet before we had fibre broadband. Now I can complete the task in a fraction of the time. To give you some idea, it now takes me five minutes to upload a video that would previously have taken me nearly two hours. The huge time saving means I can work more productively.”

Face to face communications

Jim continues: “Another way that fibre broadband helps me at work is that I can now rely on a brilliant quality video conferencing connection on FaceTime. At Scottish Disability Golf and Curling, we use video conferencing regularly as it is such a brilliant way of getting together and holding meetings as we are all based in different locations scattered across Scotland.”

Jim adds: “We have recently set up a sister organisation in North America. Again, we hold all our meetings and discussions with our colleagues in America over Zoom or FaceTime. It is just as though we are all in the same room together. Before we had high speed fibre broadband, the quality was not nearly so crisp, sharp and reliable as it is now.”

Revolutionised leisure time

“Fibre broadband is also making a difference to the quality of our leisure time at home. Up until now, it was impossible to stream films online or watch ‘TV on demand.’ But now we have fibre broadband, we use Disney and Netflix to stream films, which means we constantly have thousands of films and TV programming at our fingertips. Both my wife and I love movies, so it is great to have all this choice instantly available to us.

“My wife, who was not at all interested in computers before, has been inspired by the opportunities fibre broadband provides and she is now an avid user of her iPad. She loves using Facebook to stay in touch with friends and family and she also uses FaceTime to chat face to face online with friends in Canada.”

Jim adds: “During Covid-19 a robust internet connection has made our life a whole lot easier. High speed broadband has enabled us to shop online effortlessly, it’s more convenient for us and reduces the time needed on the phone. Books, groceries, clothes, gadgets – we buy them all online now.”

Jim concludes: “Fibre broadband has made a huge difference to me. It has transformed my work and revolutionised the accessibility options available for leisure time. It really has expanded our horizons for both my wife and I. We now feel we can connect to the world, as though on a level playing field, from our home in the rural village of Springfield.”