Openreach says the upgrade will give thousands of residents and businesses access to some of the fastest, most reliable broadband anywhere in the UK, with the ability to connect to any platform or device at gigabit-capable speeds, and to trade and compete for decades to come.
Engineers are starting work in the town centre this week and the build is expected to reach a majority of local homes and businesses over the next 12-18 months.
Full fibre broadband provides more reliable, resilient and future-proof connectivity; with fewer faults; more predictable, consistent speeds and enough capacity to easily meet growing data demands … the Covid-19 lockdown has seen more people work from home, and the demand for streaming movies and boxsets has grown as well.
Residents can register on the Openreach website for updates and, as the build progresses, check their addresses to see when services are available from their chosen provider.
Steve Morrison, chief engineer for the Borders, said: “We’re all set to bring ultrafast broadband to Gala and we want to let local people know what to expect.
“This is a major infrastructure upgrade, so there will be more engineering teams around town, but we're working closely with Scottish Borders Council to keep disruption to a minimum.
“Wherever possible, we’ll use our existing network of ducts and poles to avoid roadworks and disturbance. But there may be places where we need to install new ducts, fibre cables and poles because it’s the only way to make sure local households can be included in the upgrade.
“We’ll be using the latest technology, like tiny underground cameras that inspect ducts for blockages, to avoid digging up the streets where possible.”
He added: “We know that connecting everyone in Scotland to our fast and reliable service would result in multi-billion pound economic boost. Galashiels is part of our balanced build approach, which includes more than 200 rural Scottish towns and villages.”
Openreach is building a new Full Fibre network across Scotland, with Galashiels one of 300 towns, villages and cities to be upgraded.
Thousands of residents in Peebles already have access and investment is planned in 16 other Borders locations such as Hawick, Melrose, Selkirk, Coldstream and Duns.
Across Scotland, more than 420,000 households and businesses can already connect to the new, ultra-reliable fibre services.