MORE than 18,000 homes and businesses in the Borders now have access to more reliable broadband, says the UK's largest broadband network provider.

According to Openreach, 30 per cent of Borders properties – including 1,500 businesses – can access ultrafast full fibre broadband thanks to upgrade work by the network.

Although 18,700 have access to the ultrafast broadband, a number of properties in the region can only access either superfast fibre or Gfast fibre.

Scottish Borders Council leader Euan Jardine said: "I think most of us recall the days of dial-up internet and the iconic sound of the modem when loading up our connection or when the internet cut off if someone called the landline.

"However, those days are in the past, and it’s very exciting that the region is moving quickly into the future.

"We can capitalise on an economy that is becoming more digitally driven, but also it will help to enhance the lives of people in their homes.

"I am very insistent that rural areas should not be behind urban areas in terms of broadband provision.

"So, I welcome the investment in high-speed broadband in this region."

Openreach plans to expand the ultrafast network in urban areas and rural regions this year.

The next round of upgrades in the Borders are expected to commence this year in several communities, including the continuation of a major fibre rollout in Galashiels, as well as a full fibre build in other areas, including Duns, Earlston, Ettrick Valley, Ayton, Leitholm, Hawick, Jedburgh and Lempitlaw.

Katie Milligan, Openreach chief commercial officer and chair of its Scotland Board, said: “Full fibre is the best way to provide ultrafast, ultra-reliable internet to millions of Scots.

“Around a third of the 800,000 homes and businesses now reached by our new Scottish fibre network are rural.

"We’re connecting parts of the nation other networks don’t reach, bringing an economic boost and backing rural communities.

“Our superfast broadband is already available to most people in Scotland, but ultrafast full fibre is the future.

"It gives businesses, families and home-workers all the data they’ll ever need and provides the ultimate online experience at great value for money.”

Visit to check if you can access ultrafast broadband at your address.