Page last updated at 10:52 GMT, Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Borders village pursues broadband target

Abbey St Bathans petition
Residents in Abbey St Bathans want improved broadband access

A village where many residents say they have no broadband access has lodged a petition to change the situation.

Campaigners said that almost everyone in Abbey St Bathans in Berwickshire had given their support to the bid for better internet access.

Organiser Karen Parkinson handed over their petition to local MSP John Lamont recently.

She said the area urgently needed the prospect of "communication with the rest of the world".

Roxburgh and Berwickshire MSP Mr Lamont has given his support to the campaign.

He said he had handed over the petition to the Scottish government.

"Having been contacted by a number of residents in the Abbey St Bathans area who are without broadband, I am aware of just how frustrated they are with the current situation," he said.

"In the fast-moving world in which we live, broadband is becoming increasingly important for residents and particularly local businesses and those children who are taught at home. "

'Rural community'

Ms Parkinson said nearly everyone in the area had signed the petition seeking increased capacity on its telephone exchange.

She said: "Speaking personally, having lost my internet connection due to the exchange being at full capacity, the last year has been a nightmare, business-wise and socially.

"We are a very rural community and we do need communication with the rest of the world."

Earlier this year the Scottish government announced £3m to improve and increase access to broadband in remote and rural areas.

It was hoped about 50 sites across the country would see services enhanced under the plans.



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