The Community Council has been campaigning to get the local broadband service improved. The area is served by the Borgue telephone exchange and most properties are still connected to the exchange by copper wires. This is known as an "Exchange Only" connection. The Borgue exchange was upgraded in March 2017 and showed around a 30% speed increase over its previous performance. The broadband speed now tends to range from around 8 mega-bits per second (Mbps) close to the exchange to less than 2 Mbps at the outer edges of the area at Ross Bay or Knockbrex.
The Borgue exchange was upgraded to fibre in late 2017 and can now offer Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) connections to the local community. FTTC involves connecting the existing copper cables to the new fibre cabinet via a fibre-to-copper converter. This makes higher-speed access (greater than 20 Mbps) available to residents in the immediate vicinity of Borgue village. Unfortunately, there is a limited number of connections available for the fibre-to-copper converter and the broadband signal still drops off rapidly with distance so this upgrade will mainly be of benefit to residents within around 1 kilometre from Borgue village. If you live in or close to Borgue, check with your broadband service provider to see if you can take advantage of higher speed services.
During the first half of 2018 fibre broadband cables were run from the Borgue exchange along a number of local roads. These include:
- Along the B727 as far as Mill of Plunton
- Down the road towards Kirkandrews as far as Ingleston farm
- Along the road from Chapelton to Barmagachan then on past Plunton to Newfield cottage and across the fields to Lennox-Plunton
- Down the road from Barmagachan to Rattra farm
Properties along these routes should now be able to contract for high speed "fibre to the property" (FTTP) broadband services. You can find out which companies offer fibre broadband services at www.broadband.co.uk. The properties on the road from Chapelton to Barmagachan are not supplied with direct fibre connections but there is now a newcabinet along this road near Burnyard Cottage and this should be able to supply higher speed broadband in this area.
You can use the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) web site to check if a higher speed broadband service is available or planned for your location. You can enter either your post code or telephone number and it will tell you the status of your current connection and the plans (if any) for upgrade.
In March 2018, Openreach ran fibre cables along the roads past Barmagachan, Plunton, across the fields to Lennox-Plunton, down to Rattra and Ingleston. Some locations can now get high speed fibre to the property (FTTP) services. If you are in one of these areas, you can contact your service provider to see what services they can offer.
At the end of November 2018, new posts were installed near Roberton and Fishercroft and fibre cable was trenched into the road verge from Roberton to Fishercroft near the Coo Palace. This is presumably in preparation for extending the fibre network beyond its current termination at Ingleston or Rattra.
In 2019, additional fibre cable was run from Ingleston to Roberton and from Fishercroft to the Coo Palace but this does not seem to be planned to provide domestic broadband services to the Kirkandrews area. The properties at Kirkandrews, Barlocco and Knockbrex that were previously designated as "In Scope" for fibre broadband were notified in August 2019 that they are now "out of Scope".
As of August 2019, EE are offering wireless broadband services using the 4G mobile phone network. Early adopters of this service are seeing speeds of over 20 Mbps for download and 10 Mbps for upload.
If you are consistently experiencing broadband speeds of less than 2Mbps you can apply for a grant towards provision of an alternative service such as a satellite or wireless Internet connection. Click on Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme to find out more about this option.
John Enos, the Vice-Chair of Borgue Community Council has been lobbying local politicians, councillors and the Scottish Government to raise the profile of our local need for improvements to our broadband services. Good connectivity is essential these days for farmers, local businesses and many others who need to access online services. The area also suffers from poor reception of radio, television and mobile phone signals so the Internet can provide an alternative method of accessing these facilities.
Here's a list of some of the contacts that have been made in pursuit of improved broadband services:
- Richard Arkless, MP - meeting in Borgue
- Finlay Carson, MSP - meetings in Edinburgh and Castle Douglas and emails
- Alister Jack, MP - phone call
- Interview on BBC Scotland local news
- Scottish Government Digital Scotland Manager - emails
- Community Broadband Scotland - numerous emails
- D&G Council Chief Executive - emails
- D&G Councillors & IT Manager - meeting in Kirkcudbright and follow-up emails
- Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband & Openreach - meeting with Fiona Muir (DSSB) and Ben Campbell (Openreach)
Mobile Phone Coverage
You can check the expected coverage for the different mobile networks using the Ofcom mobile coverage checker. Mobile coverage is generally fairly patchy around Borgue but the EE network has recently been upgraded to provide 4G services around the A75 and the O2 network has limited 4G availablilty around Gatehouse and Cally.