MORE than 22,000 homes and businesses across the Scottish Borders can now access ultrafast broadband on Openreach’s Scottish network.

The new full fibre services are now available to thousands of households and businesses in places like Peebles and Kelso, while the rollout is expected to reach more Selkirk and Galashiels properties in the next few months.

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Peebles has one of the highest levels of coverage in Scotland, with more than four out of five properties able to connect to the new network, while Kelso is close behind.

Openreach has invested more than £6 million in the Borders’ new network so far, and is working with the Scottish and UK Governments, through the Reaching 100% (R100) programme and voucher schemes, to upgrade some of its hardest-to-reach places.

Border Telegraph: Patch manager Stuart Doherty chatting with a colleaguePatch manager Stuart Doherty chatting with a colleague

Local people can visit to register for updates and check their postcode to see if and when services are available from their chosen provider.

Robert Thorburn, Openreach Partnership Director for Scotland, said: “Our engineers and build partners have done an amazing job helping us bring full fibre to one million homes and businesses across Scotland.

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"Local people are using more and more data every year, streaming their favourite shows, downloading the latest video games and shopping and trading online.

"Bringing fibre broadband to places like Kelso and Peebles allows locals to enjoy all the benefits of ultrafast speeds now – and will meet their data demands decades into the future.

Border Telegraph: Fibre specialists Graeme Farquharson (orange jacket) and Greg Morris (yellow jacket) guide a narrow camera through underground ductFibre specialists Graeme Farquharson (orange jacket) and Greg Morris (yellow jacket) guide a narrow camera through underground duct

"The new network is not just faster, but also more reliable. It'll bring lots of benefits to the Borders region and opportunities for residents and businesses. We've more to do, and we're working closely with Scottish Borders Council to overcome challenges and reach as many homes and businesses as possible."

The Scottish Government’s Innovation Minister Richard Lochhead said: “This is an important milestone in the drive to ensure more homes and businesses across Scotland benefit from full fibre broadband, improving vital connectivity.

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“We are working with Openreach to roll-out future-proofed digital infrastructure to our rural towns and villages and this Reaching 100% build, alongside Openreach’s commercial network, will underpin economic growth and enhance communities across Scotland for decades to come.”

UK Government Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure Sir John Whittingdale said: “Thanks to UK government investment, thousands of rural homes, businesses and public buildings across Scotland now have access to first class broadband fit for the future.

“Over three quarters of premises across the UK can now access these faster speeds and with more collaboration with network builders like Openreach at a local and national level, we will see even more rural towns and villages staking their claim to this next-generation connectivity.”