Openreach brings full fibre broadband to 'harder to connect' towns in southern Scotland

24.11.23 Broadband Scottish Borders Credit: Openreach
Openreach are continuing work to bring fast and reliable broadband services to 'harder to connect' properties across southern Scotland. Credit: Openreach

Thousands of households and businesses in the Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway areas can now connect to ultrafast broadband thanks to a Scottish Government initiative known as the 'Reaching 100% programme.'

The £600m R100 rollout enables households and businesses to access reliable and fast broadband after so far finding it difficult to do so.

Auchencairn, Crossmichael, Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbright and Ringford as well as Scottish Border towns such as Lauder, Morebattle, Smailholm and Westruther will be able to stream movies, TV and sport while businesses can hold video calls and fulfil online banking needs.

Openreach engineers and their build partners are continuing work on the ground, with addresses in Borgue and Twynholm and more homes in Bridge of Dee and Newton Stewart among the next in line for upgrades to the ultra-fast and reliable connections. Work is also expected to take place in the Scottish Borders at Denholm, Earlston and Whitsome.

The R100 programme ensures that every home and business in Scotland can access superfast broadband - speeds of at least 30 Megabits per second (Mbps).

Full fibre broadband is more than 30 times faster than the Scottish Government’s original commitment to make super-fast services available to homes and businesses with existing connections of less than 30 Megabits per second (Mbps).

Openreach say Denholm, Earlston and Whitsome are among those who are next in line for upgrades to the ultra-fast and reliable connections. Credit: Openreach

Robert Thorburn, Openreach partnership director for Scotland, said: “The R100 programme is bringing fast, reliable broadband to the hardest-to-reach places in Scotland, with lots of new work starting in the weeks and months ahead.

“We’re working closely with Scottish Borders Council and our build partners to plan and deliver this huge civil undertaking with the least possible disruption to residents.

“It’s a complex build and our engineers and operatives may need to install new poles or ducts and cables to reach some households, so we want local people to be aware of the important work they’re doing.

“It’s a once-in-a-generation build which will give Scotland’s least connected premises access to the best, most reliable broadband around.”

Once full fibre is available, people can arrange for their service to be upgraded through their chosen provider.

Scottish Government Innovation Minister Richard Lochhead said: “It’s hugely important for homes and businesses to benefit from a full fibre upgrade in places such as Stichill and Yetholm.

“The R100 contracts are delivering future-proofed digital infrastructure that will underpin economic growth and enhance the economic prospects of communities across Scotland, for decades to come.

“Digital connectivity is transforming how we live our lives. It connects us in new and different ways, improving public services and helping businesses develop new products and reduce costs.”

People can check here to find out if the rollout has reached their address yet and register for updates.

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