TEN-THOUSAND homes and businesses in East Lothian look set to benefit from quicker internet speeds.

Openreach has revealed plans to build ultrafast, ultra-reliable full fibre broadband.

The majority of homes and businesses in East Linton, Gullane, Haddington, North Berwick and Longniddry are set to benefit from what will be a five-year nationwide project.

The announcement expands on Openreach’s existing nationwide full fibre build plans, which already include Dunbar, Tranent, Cockenzie and Port Seton, and Prestonpans.

The company is also delivering the main build for the Scottish Government’s R100 programme.

The updated build plan follows an extended investment commitment by its parent BT Group – which means Openreach will now build full fibre technology to 25 million UK premises, including an additional three million in the hardest-to-serve communities.

Strathallan Times: Faster internet speeds could be arriving in some towns and villages across East LothianFaster internet speeds could be arriving in some towns and villages across East Lothian

Andy Whale, Openreach’s chief engineer, visited Dunbar to meet some of the new recruits working on the local build of full fibre broadband, with the first homes expected to be able to connect to the new technology this summer.

He said: “Building a new broadband network across Scotland is a massive challenge and some parts of the country will inevitably require further public funding.

“But our expanded build plan means any future taxpayer subsidies can be limited to only the hardest to connect homes and businesses. And with investments from other builders, we’d hope to see that shrink further.

“The impact of full fibre broadband – stretching from increased economic prosperity and international competitiveness to higher employment and environmental benefits – will be a massive boost for Scotland and the rest of the UK.

“We’re also delighted to continue bucking the national trend by creating more Scottish jobs, with apprentices joining in their droves to start their careers.

“It was fantastic to meet some of our new engineers in Dunbar. The work they are doing will provide local people with a future-proof broadband network for generations to come.”

Kate Forbes MSP, finance and economy secretary, described it as “good news for East Lothian”.

She said: “The rollout of ultrafast broadband to so many more rural communities is vitally important, especially as we focus on recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Continued commercial build is an important part of the Reaching 100% Programme’s aim to provide access to superfast speeds for all premises.

“This focus on rural and hard-to-reach areas is exactly what I want to see.”