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Frequencies currently carrying analogue television broadcasts could be used to provide broadband coverage in remote areas, it has been suggested.

The government of New Zealand is reportedly considering this option when the nation's digital TV switchover process is completed in 2015 - a move which could set a trend for other countries.

The nation's Communications Minister Steven Joyce told the Korea Australia New Zealand Broadband Summit in Auckland that with analogue TV switched off, a 700MHz band could be available for wireless links to both mobile and fixed broadband.

He stated: "Wireless initiatives will play an increasingly important role in bringing faster broadband to rural households and businesses.

"Comparative to many countries, New Zealand has allocated large amounts of spectrum for wireless broadband use, and the government continues to look for new opportunities in this area."

Mr Joyce said the government was initially focused on providing broadband to 25 per cent of people living outside of urban areas.

Earlier this week, Swedish Communications Minister Asa Torstensson revealed proposals to provide 100Mb internet services to at least 40 per cent of the country by 2015.

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