A major concern that has been expressed over recent years is the speed of Broadband available in the Finderne Area.
There is a wide range of knowledge within the community about this subject, so we have developed this guide, to try to help people understand how Broadband speed is measured, what they need, what is available, and how to get it.
How is Broadband speed measured?
Broadband speeds are measured in Mbps (Mega bits per second). Speeds are classified as:
What speed do we need?
This depends on what we are doing and how many concurrent users in the household.
There is a lot of further information on Broadband speeds on the internet. We have used the following sources:
Ofcom – What Broadband Speed do I need
Which? What Broadband Speed do I need
Note: for interactive streaming, using Zoom or Facetime for instance, fast upload speeds are as important as download speeds.
What is available?
We have put together the following table to indicate different types of broadband, and to show what is available in Finderne, and what speeds they could provide.
Wired Broadband – ASDL
Delivered through a fixed landline phone connection, this has been the most widely used, and is available wherever there is a phone connection. However speeds can be very slow and this has led to much frustration.
Wired Broadband – Fibre to the Premises.
This provides the fastest connection. There are 2 potential options within Finderne, but both will have limited availability:
- The Scottish Government R100 scheme, to be delivered by Openreach
- Alternative commercial fibre networks
The Scottish Government R100 Scheme,
This will provide FTTP, but only to limited areas of Finderne, and currently not until end of 2024. To find if you may be connected through this scheme you can check here https://www.scotlandsuperfast.com/
For households that are not included, the Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme, can award vouchers worth up to £5000 towards the cost of an alternative commercial scheme that will deliver over 30 Mbps.
We understand that on or around 27Oct2022 there were significant changes to the Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme eligibility which resulted in the vast majority of those properties around Rafford and Califer which had been eligible for the main £5,000 voucher up to that point in time somehow becoming no longer eligible.
So it is worth re-checking your status here: https://www.scotlandsuperfast.com/
Alternative commercial fibre networks
The only alternative commercial fibre network that we are aware of is External Reality who are extending the fibre network they have already installed in the Altyre Estate. Their current scheme includes properties along the Lower Rafford – Dallas Dhu road. We believe future plans will include going up tp Blervie Castle Farm and right along the hillside above Rafford (Tulloch, Easter Tulloch etc.) then down onto the B9010 at Briach Farm through to Edinvale. For further information, speeds and pricing check out https://externalreality.co.uk/altyre-rafford/
Wireless Broadband Alternatives
Fixed Wireless Broadband
This delivers the signal through line of site transmission from fixed masts. Logienet have a mast installed at the Logie Windfarm, and households within sight of that may be able to get a connection. For more information contact https://www.logie.co.uk/broadband/.
Other commercial providers, who hope to offer Fixed Wireless Broadband to Finderne in the future are Rural Connections, based in Dunphail, and Wifi Scotland, based in Elgin.
Fixed Mobile Broadband
This delivers a broadband signal to a fixed router in the home through the 4G mobile phone network, and is available through some mainstream mobile phone network providers. This can provide speeds of up to 30 Mbps, but is very dependent on the mobile phone coverage strength at your property, and speeds can decrease at times of high volume. Poor signal strength may be improved to some extent by an external ariel.
Some households that will not get a fibre connections have installed this low cost solution. Others are using this as an interim solution.
Whatever type of connection is chosen, users will need to sign up to a contract with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to connect to the internet. Typically the costs will be higher for the faster speeds.
As mentioned above, for households not covered by the Scottish Government R100 scheme, the the Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme (SBVS), can award vouchers worth up to £5000 towards the installation cost of an alternative commercial scheme that will deliver over 30 Mbps.
If sufficient households in the Finderne area are interested, it may be possible to pool these vouchers to build out further fibre networks, or install further masts for Fixed Wireless Broadband. If you are interested in this possibility, please contact Finderne Development Trust, who have volunteered to co-ordinate voucher pooling where practicable.