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The radio spectrum could be used by broadband providers to quicken the roll-out of super-fast next-generation services in the UK, the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (Nesta) has suggested.

According to the independent body, the decision to open up radio frequencies to broadband would encourage more providers to foot the bill for the expansion of the fibre-optic network.

Nesta chief executive, Jonathan Kestenbaum, explained that the move would represent a forward thinking approach.

"The case for this type of deal is compelling," he said.

"In unprecedented economic times, we have to think imaginatively about how we can invest in major infrastructure projects while not cutting off large swathes of communities from economic and social development."

In a recent analysis of how regions in the UK would fare during the economic downturn, Nesta concluded that those areas with strong international links would make it through the recession best.

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