Broadband moves a step closer

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THE mission to bring superfast broadband to the region moved a step further last week when Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway Councils approved the continuation of the South of Scotland Next Generation Broadband Project.

This allows the Project Team to finalise the South of Scotland Local Broadband Plan for submission to Scottish Government in the hope of bringing Borders computer users’ internet connections up to speed.

People all over the region, including Berwickshire, have been left frustrated by their sub-standard internet connections and after campaigns by a number of local communities to improve matters, the two local authorities joined forces to form the South of Scotland Alliance.

Major telecommunications companies are rolling out Next Generation Broadband services, often referred to as superfast broadband, around the UK, with almost 60 per cent of the UK population having access to services today and 66 per cent expected to have access by 2015.

But the reality for the South of Scotland is that less than 25 per cent of our population is likely to be covered by this rollout, creating a Digital Divide.

Ivor Hyslop, Joint Chairman of the South of Scotland Alliance and leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council commented: “We are all working to secure a future for our region.

“We will need the same superfast broadband speeds that are available elsewhere in the country, and across the globe, to promote economic regeneration, community development and public sector efficiencies.”