South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has said that while plans announced last week by Openreach to bring full fibre broadband to 30,000 homes and businesses in Dumfries and Galloway are welcome, there’s a long road ahead to ensure everyone in the region has access to reliable, fast broadband.
Eighteen exchange areas in Dumfries and Galloway will be upgraded, with the majority of homes and businesses in places such Annan, Castle Douglas, Gretna, Lockerbie, Moffat and Stranraer set to benefit from the programme.
Colin Smyth said: “This fibre broadband upgrade from Openreach will be very welcome news to many households and businesses in these areas of Dumfries and Galloway.
“Fast, reliable broadband is an essential part of life, for both leisure and business. We’ve seen this more than ever as thousands of people continue to work from home as the Covid-19 pandemic continues. Quite simply, without a good internet connection, people are unable to do their jobs properly.
“However, while this upgrade will benefit thousands, we can’t forget about the 13 per cent of households in Dumfries and Galloway who are still stuck with slow, unreliable internet connections.
“It is completely shocking that in 2021, people are still struggling to get online properly and quickly. It is also another example of the inequalities which exist for those living in rural areas like Dumfries and Galloway. They are missing out compared to those who live in big towns and cities, and it is time we addressed these issues once and for all.”