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By Christie Breen
Dumfries and West
Fast broadband arrives in village

RESIDENTS in Mouswald, an internet black-spot, now have access to ultrafast, full fibre broadband after community campaign.

The upgrade was funded by the Reaching 100% (R100) Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme (SBVS).

The complex digital upgrade of 57 properties gives villagers access to gigabit-capable, ultra-reliable broadband after years of patchy and slow connections.

Church minister Mark Smith is delighted at the change as he can now work from home, make video calls, watch his smart TV and use multiple devices at once, none of which was possible prior to the upgrade.

He said: “After almost four years of campaigning, it’s fantastic to finally have broadband speeds that allow us to do normal tasks most people will take for granted.

“As a church minister, when worship moved online during the pandemic, it was a huge struggle to upload pre-recorded services and was completely impossible to livestream anything directly from home.

“I’ve seen first-hand the range of benefits better broadband has brought to the residents of Mouswald, from being able to video call family members, more easily run businesses or work from home, to simply watching a favourite TV show on catch up.”

Holiday site Mouswald Lodge Park, is also reaping the benefits of the new ultrafast broadband. The park’s permanent residents all now have fibre broadband direct to their doors, and there are plans to extend the technology to the park’s holiday homes too.

Director Sarah Taylor said: “The difference for our office operations with fibre broadband is huge. The service used to be so slow it took forever to do anything – now it’s like lightning!”

The area is also set to benefit from the Scottish Government’s Reaching 100% build programme, with Openreach continuing work to bring ultrafast full fibre to some further outlying properties next year.

The work at Mouswald is the first and largest of seven community projects being delivered by Openreach this year using SBVS.

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