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Sturgeon praises BT broadband boost

Almost 80,000 properties from the Borders to Orkney have been upgraded with faster broadband.

More homes and businesses are benefiting from a speedier internet connection following a roll-out by BT of its "next generation" broadband service delivered over copper lines, the provider said.

Hawick, Banff and Kirkwall are among the towns which have been upgraded to speeds of 20 megabits per second (Mbps) - more than double the fastest speed previously available from BT.

About 78% of homes and businesses in Scotland now have access to the service.

Nicola Sturgeon, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, said: "Broadband, just like roads and railways, is a vital part of Scotland's infrastructure.

"I very much welcome this latest announcement from BT. It is essential that households and businesses everywhere in Scotland have access to high-speed connectivity to enable our economy to thrive."

BT Scotland director Brendan Dick said: "Increasingly, broadband is an essential part of everyday life, whether you're Christmas shopping online, sharing photographs and videos with the family, working in an office or at home, improving your education or just wanting to download a film or programme online.

"It has the power to transform every aspect of our lives and is a vital part of ensuring the future prosperity of communities across Scotland."

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