A SCOTTISH telecoms network provider has set an industry milestone by becoming the first operator to bring a new dark fibre product into operation.

Commsworld will use 200 kilometres of dark fibre - unlit optical fibre - to upgrade the service into its enabled exchanges across the Scottish Borders, linking the region to new ultrafast connectivity.

It said it will bring affordable connectivity to organisations across towns such as Jedburgh, Kelso, Duns and Peebles.

Commsworld said that by lighting the dark fibre with its own optical equipment it will be able to provide businesses and homes with flexible connectivity speeds of up to 10Gb/s, which is around 185 times the average UK download speed.

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The Edinburgh-based firm said it is the first to do so with the newly available Dark Fibre X (DFX) product from Openreach.

Charlie Boisseau, chief technical officer at Commsworld, said: “Bringing this ultra-high-speed connectivity to more rural areas creates really exciting prospects for domestic and business users.

“Businesses won’t be limited by location anymore. We’re looking forward to seeing more businesses with dramatically faster and more robust connections flourishing in rural areas. Anyone will be able to set up a high-tech business from anywhere.”

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The news comes as Scotland reaches a turning point in its connectivity journey with the Scottish Infrastructure Commission calling for full fibre to every home and business by 2027.

Commsworld, which also has offices in London, Glasgow and Aberdeen with more than 100 staff, said that using dark fibre means it maintains full control of its network and this allows communities to benefit from enhanced technical capabilities and an improvement in the customer service provided by the telecoms company.

The firm said all organisations regardless of scale can benefit from the upgraded network.

Katie Milligan, of Openreach, said: “Commsworld has embraced dark fibre and secured an industry first to embed it into their Borders network.

“Access to dark fibre helps to address one barrier to a wider full fibre roll-out.”

It comes as FarrPoint, also Edinburgh-headquartered, secured a four-year contract with Scottish Futures Trust, the infrastructure centre of expertise owned by the Scottish Government, to help it take a leading role in 5G delivery.