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Super-fast broadband services not only help businesses thrive, but can provide a boost to local tourism, it has been claimed.

Speaking to the Press Association, broadband campaigner Brian McCrow - who led Innerleithen's BT Race to Infinity competition entry - said fibre services can attract people from other areas.

The Scottish Borders town was named as one of six winners in January 2011, meaning it will receive super-fast fibre broadband facilities.

Mr McCrow said the new service is going to be good for tourism in the area - helping to boost the popularity of fishing, golfing and biking.

"The new network will allow us to promote the area and events and encourage people to come to us," he told the news provider.

"It's all about fast communication now and we can now provide that so people can use their fancy phones and iPads while still enjoying the scenery and remote cycling tracks and things."

Mr McCrow, 68, said the new service would also help people to work from home and reduce their carbon footprint.

According to broadband provider BT, Innerleithen will become the "best connected place in Scotland" once the upgrade is completed.

Fibre-to-the-cabinet and fibre-to-the-premises broadband technologies will be used to equip businesses and local residents with next-generation services.

James McClafferty, BT Scotland Partnerships Director, said having enough bandwidth has been a challenge in rural communities.

"They worry there is a chance they might fall behind big metropolitan areas and cities, but I suppose Innerleithen has bucked that trend," he added.

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