Dumfriesshire village gains ultrafast broadband upgrade following community campaign

The local community in Mouswald campaigned to have the village benefit from Reaching 100% Credit: Openreach

Residents of Mouswald in Dumfriesshire now have access to ultrafast broadband thanks to funding from the Reaching 100% Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme (SBVS).

The small village near Dumfries had previously been an internet black-spot with residents enduring years of patchy and slow connections.

The digital upgrade includes 57 properties, making it the largest of of seven community projects being delivered nationally by Openreach this year through SBVS. The company hopes to complete a further 13 schemes in 2023.

Many households in Mouswald were upgraded in previous investment cycles but these 57 properties previously missed out. Credit: Openreach

Residents had campaigned for their community to benefit from SBVS, including church minister Mark Smith.

He said: “After almost four years of campaigning, it’s fantastic to finally have broadband speeds that allow us to do normal tasks most people will take for granted. As a church minister, when worship moved online during the pandemic, it was a huge struggle to upload pre-recorded services and was completely impossible to livestream anything directly from home.

“I’ve seen first-hand the range of benefits better broadband has brought to the residents of Mouswald, from being able to video call family members, more easily run businesses or work from home, to simply watching a favourite TV show on catch up.”  

Mark, a father of five, also said that he and his wife can now enjoy longer visits from their grown-up children, who can visit over a weekend, or longer, and work remotely from their home. This was virtually impossible prior to the upgrade.

Business Minister Ivan McKee said: “This is great news for the community in Mouswald who have worked hard with Openreach to deliver a gigabit capable service. I would encourage other communities, businesses or individual households that need faster broadband to consider the SBVS as a potential solution, which has already delivered more than 2,600 new connections across Scotland.”

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