WORKS are under way to build “ultrafast” broadband networks for two towns in the Borders.

Openreach said the project would give residents and businesses in Jedburgh and Hawick access to “some of the fastest, most reliable broadband” in Europe.

Engineers have started work in the towns and the builds are expected to reach the majority of local homes and firms in the next couple of years.

Meanwhile, engineers are also helping to bring ultrafast broadband to more properties in Galashiels and Selkirk – adding to more than 9,000 premises in the towns that can already upgrade.

Robert Thorburn, Openreach partnership director for Scotland, said: “We’re bringing ultrafast broadband to Jedburgh and Hawick and letting local people know what to expect.

“This is a major infrastructure upgrade, so there will be more engineering teams, equipment and vans around town, and we're working hard to keep disruption to a minimum.

“Wherever possible, we’ll use our existing network of ducts and poles to avoid roadworks, new street furniture and disturbance. But there may be places where we need to install new poles, underground ducts and fibre cables because it’s the only way to make sure households get included in the upgrade.”

He added: “Jedburgh and Hawick are part of our balanced build across Scotland. We want to make sure that progress is evenly spread and that people in all parts of the country can be online effortlessly and build opportunities in their community. Connecting everyone in Scotland to our fastest and most reliable broadband would result in a multi-billion pound economic boost.”

The upgrades will let thousands in the region connect multiple devices at gigabit-capable speeds, according to Openreach.

Borderers can visit to check the latest status for their address, register for updates and see when services are available from their chosen provider.