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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 February, 2004, 13:29 GMT
Borders pilots rural broadband
Computer cable
Rural areas lag behind in broadband coverage
A pilot scheme to increase broadband coverage in the Borders has been unveiled by the Scottish Executive.

Deputy First Minister Jim Wallace outlined the plans on a visit to Universal Fibre Optics, in Coldstream.

The 1m Scottish Borders Rural Broadband (SBRB) scheme will be available to homes and businesses.

The area was chosen for the pilot as it has the lowest coverage in Scotland.

Mr Wallace said: "Broadband can play a key role in growing the economy across Scotland, bringing benefits to rural areas, where business can thrive in even the most remote communities.

"A year ago there was no broadband coverage in the Borders. Developments in the last year, and the contribution this scheme will make, give a potential coverage of 70%."

People wishing to check on broadband availability can log onto a new executive website, www.broadbandforscotland.co.uk.

The Borders project has received 700,000 from the Scottish programme of the UK Broadband Fund and 270,000 from Scottish Enterprise.

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