ON FRIDAY March 10 Borders MP John Lamont visited the Laughing Ducks Soft Play in Coldstream alongside Scottish independent broadband provider, GoFibre, to discuss progress and benefits for the area.

Recent improvements mean that residents of the Borders can now benefit from world-class digital connectivity, including people in Coldstream, St Boswells and Kelso.

Melrose will also soon be connected to the GoFibre network.

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Mr Lamont was welcomed to the Soft Play at Hillview Trading Estate, where he was able to see first-hand the impact that fast, reliable broadband has had in transforming the Borders-based start-up business.

During the visit, the MP met with the GoFibre team alongside Laughing Ducks business owners, Anna and Jon Standing, to hear how full fibre connectivity - considered the best type available - is helping to close the digital divide in underserved areas. 

Peeblesshire News:

Prior to signing up with GoFibre, Laughing Ducks relied on a copper connection - a connection that was so poor they were unable to complete the day-to-day tasks necessary to run the business.

With their new full fibre broadband service, the business has been able to book in and attract new customers while serving its current customers more effectively. 

Full fibre networks are known for removing the disruption that ageing copper networks bring when it comes to reliability and speed.

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However, it is only currently available to around 41% of Scottish residents, according to figures from Ofcom. And GoFibre is committed to tackling the digital divide across Scotland and the north of England.

Once in place, the network offers speeds of up to 10Gbps, transforming the ability for Borders residents and businesses to work effectively, operate multiple devices simultaneously with no lag and download complete box sets and large files in seconds. 

Mr Lamont said: “Fast and reliable broadband is vital to households, businesses and the public services we rely on every day. That’s why the UK Government is investing £5 billion through our transformative Project Gigabit programme, improving connectivity for harder-to-reach rural communities across the Borders.

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 “I’m delighted to see the effects of better connectivity in Coldstream. It’s very encouraging to see operators such as GoFibre deploying solutions that will play a vital role in levelling up rural communities, helping to create and sustain jobs and to build resilient and thriving futures.

“Lots of my constituents across the Borders, especially older and vulnerable people, experience isolation because of a lack of good broadband and digital services.

“It was great to meet Anna and Jon from Laughing Ducks to hear about how much this broadband investment has benefitted their business and the local economy.”

Neil Conaghan, Chief Executive Officer at GoFibre, added: “It was great to welcome John to one of our customer sites and have him see first-hand the real difference that exceptional connectivity can make to rural areas in particular.  

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“Sub-standard digital connectivity across Scotland’s towns and villages, including the Borders, where we grew up, has long been an issue, limiting our collective potential.

“With our full fibre network expanding across Scotland and the north of England, we are continuing to do all that we can to be part of the solution.

“As a result, we are helping to bridge the digital divide, alongside equipping residents and businesses with the tools they need to succeed and innovate, both now and in the future. 

“We would like to thank everyone for their patience and support while we connect them to the benefits of full fibre.