A NEW phase in rolling out superfast broadband in the Borders kicked off in Selkirk.

The Up your Street campaign hopes to encourage more locals to sign up to fibre broadband and enjoy its many benefits.

Councillor Mark Rowley and senior pupils from Philiphaugh Community School helped the Digital Scotland team launch the campaign on Wednesday.

More than 36,100 homes and businesses across the region are now able to connect to the network.

Villages such as Walkerburn, Morebattle and Leitholm have all recently been connected as well as towns such as Coldstream, Eyemouth and Jedburgh.

The new campaign features a branded ad van, which began its tour around the Borders from Newtown St Boswells.

Staff on-board will encourage local people to sign up for the new, faster services with their chosen internet service provider.

Councillor Rowley, who is the Executive Member for Business and Economic Development, said: “Over a number of years the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme, supported by the council’s additional funding, has given tens of thousands of Borderers the potential to enjoy the benefits of a high speed connection.

“However, many people don’t realise they could be benefitting, or that the technology is even available to them, which is why we are supporting this local campaign to raise awareness and encourage people to investigate the options from internet service providers.”

Fibre broadband can offer fast and reliable broadband connections at speeds of up to 80Mbps.

Sara Budge, programme director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: "It's fantastic news that the programme has been able to benefit residents and businesses in and around the Scottish Borders and it’s exciting to see the launch of the Borders ‘Up-your-street’ campaign.

"I would like to thank Councillor Rowley and the pupils from Philiphaugh Community School for joining us to raise awareness of the availability of superfast broadband in the Borders and it’s really important that the deployment will continue in the area throughout 2018 and into 2019.

"I do recognise that not all Borders residents have yet, or will benefit from this programme, please however be assured that we continue to work hard to improve digital connectivity for all residents and businesses across the region."

A procurement is currently under way by The Scottish Government to ensure that there is 100 percent superfast broadband across Scotland.

Over the coming days and weeks the ad-van will visit the likes of Lilliesleaf, Ancrum, Chirnside and Lauder.