STRANRAER is to receive fibre optic broadband following an announcement by BT this week.
The telecoms company revealed on Tuesday that the almost 4,000 homes in the town will receive the high speed broadband next year.
Jim Hume, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for South Scotland, welcomed the news and said both homeowners and businesses will benefit.
The MSP has been campaigning for better digital services across the region’s rural towns and villages.
He said: “I’ve long campaigned for fast and reliable broadband in the region and I welcome the news from BT that Stranraer has been earmarked in this latest round for high speed fibre broadband.
“There are obvious benefits of having a better broadband connection and this is excellent news for householders and businesses alike.
“The internet plays a vital role in the local economy and in a digital age where most business is conducted online, it’s crucial that our rural areas can compete in the marketplace.”
Labour’s Stranraer and North Rhins councillor, Marion McCutcheon, added: “This is fantastic news because slow broadband speeds are one of local people’s top concerns. There has been a real fear that our area is being left behind. Whether it’s keeping in touch with friends and relatives, online banking or shopping our internet connection is our link with the world and local communities need fast access. For far too many people locally that just haven’t been available yet and this investment by BT is a great leap in the right direction.”
Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown said: “This is very welcome news from BT for Stranraer. Super-fast broadband is an essential building block to economic recovery and growth. In a rural area like ours, broadband access is just as important a form of infrastructure as roads and rail.
“Stranraer is really suffering because of the economic downturn and this news gives our local firms a boost. These improved links will really help local businesses, and will attract investment and new jobs. Residents will also benefit from being able to do more, better and faster, online.
“However, even after this announcement far too many people in our area remain on painfully slow internet spends. We need to roll out superfast broadband to smaller towns and villages too because everyone in our region needs to be benefit.”