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The government has launched a new programme that will extend the reach of mobile broadband across the UK.

Minister for Communications Ed Vaizey explained that the programme of measures for radio spectrum modernisation will also allow mobile operators to deliver the latest technologies to their customers.

"Under our plans, our mobile industry will have access to the 21st century infrastructure it needs to give UK consumers the latest technologies and even better coverage for broadband on their mobile phones," said Mr Vaizey.

The spectrum modernisation programme will be implemented under directions given to Ofcom.

One of the regulator's first duties will be to co-ordinate a combined auction of 2.6GHz and 800MHz spectrum, which will allow operators to deliver widespread high-speed mobile broadband.

Earlier this week, a report from Ofcom claimed that consumers are not getting the download speeds their internet service providers advertise.

It explained that this is because broadband is delivered over copper lines that suffer electrical interference.

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