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Case Study
Linlithgow, Scotland
March 2023

Many people look forward to retiring to a more rural location. However, checking that your dream move comes with good broadband is something often forgotten about.

Learn how our fast 4G broadband service saved the day for one elderly Scottish couple in their new home.

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West Lothian couple faced internet blackout after moving to dream retirement cottage

An elderly couple looking to retire to their dream cottage in West Lothian were left in a broadband blackout after major firms refused to offer them a fast and reliable connection.

The husband and wife say that they were faced with the prospect of being cut off from loved ones after moving to the cottage after major broadband providers refused to hook them up to a stable internet connection.

A logo for the Edinburgh Live publication

John Black, 67, and wife Sara, 72, relied on a strong internet connection in order to keep in touch with their children and grandchildren. They had worked hard running an antique shop in Wigtown before deciding to relocate to an idyllic farm cottage just outside of Linlithgow.

However their retirement plans were placed in jeopardy when the pair realised they were unable to access reliable landline broadband at their new home. This meant John and Sara were cut off from their family and also unable to watch their favourite TV shows on streaming services.

A photo of the countryside in West Lothian

Wife Sara relies heavily on the internet as she suffers from mobility issues and enjoys spending time speaking with her daughters and grandchildren over video calls. On top of this, John, who is a keen photographer, was also faced with the prospect of being unable to upload his snaps.

Thankfully, needing to work from home was not an issue for the retired couple but they were unable to pay for things like energy bills online due to the connectivity dilemma they were faced with. What was most frustrating for the couple was the fact that their next-door neighbours, who were situated less than 20 feet away, had superfast broadband provided by one of the industry giants.

John said: “Video calls provide us with a great and really important connection with our family and we couldn't live without it. This wasn't exactly how I envisioned spending my retirement.

“We were suffering with landline broadband speeds of just one to two Mbps whilst our neighbours just 20 feet away were benefitting from high speeds through fibre broadband. We tried to see if we could be hooked up to the same service but the broadband company we spoke to simply refused to hear us out.

“We were forced to hotspot from our phones, which was costing us a fortune and put a real downer on the first few weeks in our new home. Fortunately we found National Broadband which connected us up with their 4G-based service. This provides us with performance of 40 Mbps which is fine.

“Living in rural parts of the UK has its ups and downs, with one major 'down' being the risk of having no access to reliable broadband. After having no luck with major providers, fortunately we found National Broadband and got reconnected with our family and friends.”

Ofcom states that there are over 70,000 households in Scotland without access to national minimum standard broadband speeds of 10 Mbps via a fixed line, with 90 per cent of those homes being located in rural areas just like John's.

David Hennell, director at National Broadband commented on John's situation by saying: “John's story is sadly all too typical. Rural areas continue to be neglected when it comes to digital connectivity, especially in comparison to more densely populated urban locations.

“The impact this discrepancy has on individuals, households and whole communities is huge and puts rural homes and businesses at a significant and ever-increasing disadvantage. At National Broadband we believe that every connection matters and are proud to help people like the Blacks get access to high quality broadband which is such a necessity to daily life in a modern society.”

The above case study originally appeared on the website of our parent company, National Broadband Ltd

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