Poor broadband and mobile signal is one of the most common causes of complaints in the Borders, and rightly so. Our current lack of connectivity is holding businesses back and it is unfair for consumers to be paying the same as someone in the central belt, for a much inferior service. It rightly frustrates residents and businesses in the Borders.
I have worked hard with a number of local communities to secure better rural broadband and have helped hundreds of individuals with broadband problems, but we need real change and fast.
The UK Government is delivering on plans to require broadband providers to offer 100% superfast broadband across the UK by creating a new universal service obilgation. They are also forcing mobile phone providers to improve reception in black spots. I look forward to working with them to achieve this.
However, the Scottish Government has a role to play too. The Borders has received a paltry 4% of the SNP's Community Broadband Scotland scheme funds which they launched to "help transform broadband provision."
Greater funds need to be made available and I have long argued that the fund should be opened up to individual households, charities and businesses, not just community groups.
If you have a problem with your broadband or mobile signal, please get in touch and I will do my best to help.