Openreach, which owns and maintain the UK’s broadband network, is creating 220 new engineer jobs in Scotland, including seven in Berwickshire, to maintain and expand the service.
Broadband speeds in parts of Berwickshire are slower than they should be and Openreach says that increasing the workforce means it can give more focus to connecting the ‘hard to reach’ properties.
Borders MP John Lamont has welcomed the news that Openreach is recruiting additional engineers but has said he wants to see faster progress.
The news comes as residents in Eccles have finally seen their premises connected to fibre as part of Openreach’s roll out of fibre broadband in rural areas.
Eccles properties have previously been highlighted by Mr Lamont as an anomaly in the way in which the SNP measure their progress in rolling out superfast broadband in Scotland.
Residents in Eccles have been counted as having access to a superfast fibre connection via their local cabinet.
However, because the copper wire to their homes was too long, the actual speeds residents received were far from superfast. This has now been changed, thanks to the installation of fibre broadband lines in the village.
John Lamont MP said: “It’s good news that Openreach is creating jobs in the Borders and that their work seems to be finally paying off for residents in Eccles and elsewhere.
“Access to the internet is now essential for both work and leisure and the current lack of connectivity in the Borders in undoubtedly holding the area back.
“While this latest news is very welcome, as is Openreach’s commitment to work harder on connecting hard to reach parts of the UK, there is a long way to go.
“I know many of my constituents have been less than impressed with Openreach in the past, so I want to see much faster progress from them.”
Kevin Brady, HR director, Openreach, said: “We want to get on with the job of delivering full fibre broadband to the UK, and that’s why we need to continue growing our team of highly skilled engineers ready to connect homes and businesses across the nation.”