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Broadband could soon be provided to rural areas through technology that uses unoccupied radio waves to broadcast internet services, it has been revealed.

Communications regulator Ofcom has published a discussion document on the potential of using the wireless equipment, which utilises so-called "white spaces" between TV channels to transmit signals.

It is thought that the platform should provide web services over further distances than current technology like Wi-Fi, so it could prove useful in efforts to get rural areas online.

Professor William Webb, Head of Research and Development at Ofcom, said: "White space devices have the potential to enable a vast range of new and innovative applications."

However, he added that the technology is "largely unproven" and work needs to be done before it is brought into practice.

Last month, Ofcom launched a new consortium to promote the issue of digital participation across the UK.

The group includes representatives such as Digital Britain minister Stephen Timms and the likes of BT and Sky.

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