Locals have rallied round an emotional appeal from an eight-year-old boy battling to bring broadband to their neighbourhood.
A tearful Scott Burnett penned a letter to internet provider BT when he was unable to join in with his friends online.
Scott wrote: “I’m very upset because I’m very left out. Do you know why? Because everyone in my school has broadband and I don’t.”
Now members of the community of Clola, south of Mintlaw, have launched a campaign to haul their village into the 21st century.
Michèle Emslie is a local community councillor and vice-chairwoman of Moss of Cruden Community Association (MOCCA).
Last night she said: “Scott’s friends are all online and he can’t join them. He’s been asking why and actually wrote that letter crying. That’s how serious it is to him.
“Broadband is the fourth utility – you can’t live without it.”
The community in Clola is working with Community Broadband Scotland, a Scottish Government partner committed to bringing internet to rural areas.
Mrs Emslie continued: “We’re in an internet not-spot here and we’ve got a strong case. Now we need to speak to people willing to have a mast or box on their land.
“Think of it this way – I pay the same as everyone else for my internet which is incredibly slow. If it was wine, and I ordered £40 worth and only got one bottle whereas my neighbour got 40 bottles, that wouldn’t be acceptable.”
The campaign has been backed by Central Buchan councillor and deputy provost Norman Smith. He said: “Anything to improve broadband must be welcomed because everything nowadays is online.
“There has been a big roll out of fibre optic broadband and Aberdeenshire Council has invested a lot of money. The ultimate aim of the council is for everyone to have access to broadband of some sort.”
MOCCA’s campaign is still in the survey stage and Mrs Emslie is urging anyone affected by a lack of broadband in the central Buchan area to take part.
If the project is successful, a government-funded scheme could go live by the end of 2015.