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Region lagging behind with internet speeds

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By by Claire Miller and Marc McLean
Region lagging behind with internet speeds

DUMFRIES and Galloway is still lagging behind most other regions across the UK when it comes to internet speed.

People who live in Borness, Borgue, and Ross see average download speeds of just 2.6 Mbit/s.

That’s slower than 3G (around 6 Mbit/s), but better than dial-up (0.06 Mbit/s).

The figures from Ofcom’s Connected Nations report show that seven per cent of homes in the area are unable to receive download speeds of at least 5 Mbit/s.

And when it comes to ultrafast internet (speeds of 100 Mbit/s or more), just nine per cent of homes in the area could get those speeds.

At local authority level, properties in Dumfries and Galloway as a whole can expect average download speeds at 39.8 Mbit/s, under the UK average of 50.4 Mbit/s.

The speed is based on the median – or how fast downloads are for the household in the middle of everyone in the area.

As part of its Levelling Up agenda, the Government has pledged that by 2030, the UK will have nationwide gigabit-capable broadband and 4G coverage, with 5G coverage for the majority of the population.

It’s put forward £5bn to bring gigabit-capable broadband to 85 per cent of the UK by 2025, and the £1bn for the Shared Rural Network deal with mobile operators to deliver 4G coverage to 95 per cent of the UK by the same year.

Since its launch in March 2020, orders have been placed under the government’s universal broadband service that will result in around 6500 households being connected to full-fibre broadband, and thousands more are expected to benefit from this scheme and others.

Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s network and communications group director, said: “Full fibre is helping meet those demands, with millions more benefitting from faster speeds and more reliable connections.

“But some homes in hard-to-reach areas still struggle to get decent broadband, so there’s more work to do to make sure these communities get the connections they need.”

Every school in Dumfries and Galloway now has fast internet connections following an extensive upgrade to allow for effective digital learning in the classroom.