BUSINESSES in the Scottish Borders are set to reap the benefits of faster connectivity with a network infrastructure that matches the fastest speeds found in cities such as Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The breakthrough follows a collaboration between two of Scotland’s longest-established telecommunications firms which will bring fibre broadband to firms in the region, which has, until now, been overtaken by many of Scotland’s biggest towns and cities.

A local firm GB Technologies Ltd, which is headquartered in Galashiels, is working with Commsworld to deliver a “next generation network” that can deliver speeds 500 times faster than the average UK broadband connection.

The smart network can also detect the shortest direct route from the Borders – bypassing the 600-mile round trip through datacentres around London that can contribute to slower network speeds.

This new network will be dedicated to business users, meaning that customers will not have to contend with residential users using the same connection, a factor which can also slow down internet speeds.

Every area in the borders will have access to the new fibre network to achieve greater upload speeds and easier transfer of files.

Cloud connectivity will also be greatly boosted by the new infrastructure.

GB Technologies is a small and medium enterprise provider with more than 30 years of experience in the telecommunication and IT sector.

Commsworld, which is based in Edinburgh, also has offices in Glasgow and Aberdeen and employs more than 80 staff who operate across public and private sector contracts.

Gordon Brown, founder and chairman of GB Technologies Ltd, said: “The infrastructure now in place in the Scottish Borders has the potential to have a transformative effect on the region’s business landscape.

“For us, working with another Scottish business rather than a multinational brings a number of benefits to us and our customers.

“The personal service we receive and the focus on providing a genuinely Scottish network enables us to provide local firms with a package that provides speeds that some of the larger network providers are not interested in or able to offer.”

The “local” network, which can provide fibre network to the premises, ensures that firms will be able to access speeds every bit as fast as those in the country’s biggest cities.

GB Technologies has an intimate knowledge of the area and will be able to provide a service tailored to the local community.

Charlie Boisseau, chief operating officer at Commsworld, said he believes this will help the Borders retain businesses in an increasingly data reliant world, at the same time as attracting further industry.

“The work GB Technologies is doing is fantastic and we are always incredibly eager to work with quality partners based in the areas we are providing connectivity for,” he said.

“The next generation network is a great example of what a collaborative and local approach can do for the customers in less densely populated areas.

“This kind of network is able to identify the most efficient route when two connected users are trying to speak to each other – a bit like being in Galashiels and using the A7 to get to Hawick, rather than taking a detour via London.”