On the 8th March, we set a challenge for MSP Paul Wheelhouse, the Scottish Government’s Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, to work from a remote office we set up in Finderne for a day to experience first hand the realities of what our community face in work and in home schooling children. We know only too well that you can have everything you need for a workplace or home office – but in 2021 it’s worthless without a functioning broadband connection.
We had asked the Minister to consider changing the implementation policy on the R100 interim vouchers so that they can be released immediately without impacting eligibility for R100 or the Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme in December 2020. After two months, we finally received what amounted to a patronising lecture about the history of the R100 programme – something we are all very aware of.
So far, our campaign has made page 3 of The Times and featured in The Independent. We’ve also spoken on MFR radio and filmed with STV. The campaign has gone viral and coverage keeps on coming in and we would ask all Finderne community members to support by sharing the campaign online – bit.ly/FDT_WFHinPasture.
We hope that our efforts will help drive change. Ideally, this will be the immediate release of the interim vouchers to provide financial support to Finderne residents to find better temporary solutions for fast connectivity.
We’ll share with you a full report at the end of the campaign.