The Community Consultation conducted by the FDT in 2018 revealed inadequate Broadband provision in the Finderne area to be the number 1 concern of our population. The FDT set about finding out what it could do to improve this.

The provision of broadband throughout the community is considered urgent and pivotal to addressing several of the FDT key themes, including reducing social isolation; meeting the needs of young people; supporting the well-being of the community and in supporting the local economy. 

FDT are working with local contractors and liaising with the Scottish Government in relation to the Government’s R100 scheme to provide viable solutions to the community.

Useful Information:

Click on the link below to check your postcode for superfast broadband


We’ve also compiled a list of local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to make it easier for community members to find the information they may need to get connected.


Rural Communications

Wifi Scotland


Highland Wireless

External Reality

If you think a local supplier should be on this list, please contact us at


We have also researched Community Fibre Partnerships, a scheme offered by Openreach as a possible solution. Community Fibre Partnerships offer communities the opportunity to build their own customised fibre solution. They have worked well for communities that benefit from windfarm funding, such as Achnasheen, who successfully worked with Openreach to connect 140 households in their community. See here for a short video which showcases their project. Achnasheen previously had speeds of 0.5Mbps. Strathdearn Community Developments Company have also delivered broadband to their community in this way. A Community Fibre Partnership is one of the alternatives that FDT would consider taking forward if no alternative option becomes available, but the geography of Finderne makes this option both complex and expensive.


Another avenue which we have explored is rolling out fixed wireless technology and we have held discussions with local providers Logie Net, Highland Wireless, WiFi Scotland and Monsternet.

Wireless technology is well explained on the Logie Net webpage here. Logie Net has already connected many homes in the south of Finderne. It does not currently have equipment in place that could cover the whole of Finderne.

WiFi Scotland have submitted an outline proposal detailing how they could service the Rafford area, reaching approximately 275 homes by erecting two new mast sites. This infrastructure would require financial investment and we are currently in discussions with WiFi Scotland on the terms that this could be agreed under. WiFi Scotland have indicated that they could potentially build this within 3 months. It is therefore a scheme which the FDT may consider taking forward as one part of a possible solution for Finderne.


A potential game-changer which came into effect from March this year, is the Universal Service Obligation (USO) which forms part of BT’s regulatory structure, was extended to make the supply of “decent broadband speeds” part of BT’s USO. This will give people the legal right to request a connection of at least 10 Mbps and 1 Mbps upload speed in areas where no future upgrades are planned to be delivered. The service must cost no more than £45 inc. VAT per month. Openreach would pay for the installation up to a cost of no more than £3,400 per household.

BT is the USO provider for Scotland and it is our understanding, based on our research and early indications and responses from a series of requests made already, that the majority of connections will be offered via their “mobile” EE 4G network, and not their fixed line network. Sites that do not get a 4G signal will be considered for a full fibre connection, but the obligation to supply this is subject to the price cap of £3,400 per household connected. Extra costs of putting in the requisite line and equipment must be funded by the customer and if the customer cannot or will not do this, no upgrade to the existing service will be provided. In this instance, customers would have to either seek one of the alternative solutions mentioned above or wait until R100 is delivered. It has been confirmed that, Rural Gigabit Vouchers cannot be used to top up the customer contribution to the supply of upgraded speeds via the USO.

However, the £3,400 price cap is not a very accurate guide to the intended roll-out of the USO upgrades. BT is obliged to “aggregate” the cost of supply by “assuming” an uptake of at least 70% of the households in the area to be supplied, and dividing the “aggregate” cost among that 70% whether there is a request from them or not. How this operates in practice is still not transparent, and we are looking into the detail further. FDT would like to encourage every household in Finderne that is in need of a better broadband connection to check their postcode and submit a request to BT on the link here. If Finderne residents would then feed back their experience and BT’s responses to FDT, we shall be able to take up the cause of Finderne with BT to take the greatest advantage that can be obtained from the USO change.


Another viable option is mobile operators. There are currently ten networks, such as EE, O2 and Three, which now offer unlimited 4G Data packages. FDT has been made aware that BT is recommending certain households to switch to one of these mobile operators. Download speeds are greater than 10MBps but are not necessarily “superfast”. Signal availability can be checked on Ofcom’s website here.

Because signal quality is so variable within Finderne, the data available to Ofcom (and BT) officially is not necessarily borne out by individual speed-check tests. The possibility of securing some form of specific “testing” facility both as to speeds and availability that could be made available to Finderne residents who cannot obtain decent broadband speeds by any of the methods described above is under consideration. The viability of such a scheme is dependent on the feedback we receive in relation to the actual experience of our residents in seeking USO-level supplies of broadband.


To summarise, four options are under review:

  • secure the best deals available for individual households and businesses under the various mobile options and the recently effective USO scheme,
  • consider investing in privately owned WiFi schemes,
  • wait until the Scottish Government deliver R100, or
  • further investigate a Community Fibre Partnership.

It is clear that there will not be a one-size-fits-all solution for Finderne due to its rurality, and the rapidly developing alternatives that BT are now obliged to offer. We had planned to discuss all of these options with you at a community meeting in March. This was postponed due to COVID-19. This update is the best way that we can communicate with you during lockdown on this key issue.

We believe any solution will have to include a combination within Finderne of wireless, the USO and mobile options, which can only be evaluated on a location by location basis.

We appreciate that there is a lot of information to digest and that you may have thoughts or questions so please send any queries or comments to