Scottish Borders towns set for big broadband developments

Homes and businesses in Earlston, Lauder and St Boswells will be the next Borders towns to benefit from a scheme to deliver superfast internet speeds.

The trio have been announced as being among the next areas to be connected to high-speed fibre broadband, up to 80Mbps, thanks to the further roll-out of the £410 million Digital Scotland partnership.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “This marks an important milestone for the people and businesses of the Scottish Borders as well as for the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband partnership.

“This programme will lay the foundations of a world class digital Scotland, by extending fibre broadband access to parts of Scotland that wouldn’t otherwise be served commercially.

“The scale of the challenge of delivering fibre broadband into rural Scotland outstrips any other part of the UK and will generate significant economic benefits, including new jobs and increased productivity.”

Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, added: “This marks an important next phase in the Digital Scotland deployment, with local communities among the latest set to benefit.

“This technological change will help them to compete and thrive in the 21st century.”

He added: “New locations for fibre will be announced regularly as our engineers carry out detailed local surveys and finalise plans. “Delivering a project on this scale is one of the most significant challenges we’ve faced anywhere in the UK in recent years.”

Commenting on the announcement, Councillor Stuart Bell, executive member for economic development at SBC, said: “I’m really pleased to see the roll out of superfast broadband starting to happen now in the Scottish Borders.

“I know that in Lauder, for instance, there was a very high sign up for broadband so it is welcome that they are getting connected.

“This is a major investment that will help Borders businesses compete on a more level playing field and provide our communities with better access to the important services now available online.”

Mr Bell added: “This is just the start of a programme that will take some time to complete because of its scale but ultimately it will ensure we have a modern digital infrastructure here in the Borders that will benefit the region for years to come.”