MP calls for better Borders broadband

A Borders politician has said that one of the consequences of the coronavirus crisis should be to intensify efforts to improve broadband in rural areas.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 5th June 2020, 12:28 pm
Scottish Borders still lags behind twhen it comes to broadband coverage.
Scottish Borders still lags behind twhen it comes to broadband coverage.

John Lamont MP said that people who are working from home and not receiving adequate broadband speeds will be frustrated and may even be less productive than those with faster internet connections.

The comments come as new figures show the Scottish Borders still lagging behind the rest of the country when it comes to broadband coverage.

The Connected Nations Spring Update, published by Ofcom, shows stark differences in the fastest speeds. 48 per cent of Scotland’s residential properties receive over 300Mbps but this drops to just six per cent in the Scottish Borders.

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Similarly, almost 1 in 10 properties receive less than 10Mbps in the Borders, but this is only 1 in 33 across the country.

New rules mean that homeowners and business premises have a legal right to request a decent broadband connection. This is deemed as achieving download speeds of at least 10Mbps.

Mr Lamont commented: “We will all have been using our broadband more recently due to the need to work from home. My team and I have and I know thousands of Borderers are doing the same.

“For some who are not lucky enough to have a decent broadband connection this will have been a very frustrating time and might even have been making it difficult to go about your usual work.

“Rural areas like ours should not be left behind. It is vital that broadband speeds are improved if our rural economy is to compete with urban areas. Social distancing measures have proven working from home is not practical for many.

“For those with the slowest speeds, you now have a legal right to request a decent and affordable broadband connection.”