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A number of internet service providers are hoping to use 'white spaces' in Ultra High Frequency TV to deliver high-speed broadband to remote locations.

BT Openreach claimed this week that the technology could present a solution to poor broadband coverage in rural parts of the UK.

The firm is currently carrying out a pilot test on the Scottish island of Bute, to assess the capabilities of the technique.

The digital switchover means the unused parts of the digital TV spectrum are increasingly becoming available for other uses.

BT said the initial test results have been "very promising", with 'white space' technology tested over long distances and challenging terrain.

However, the firm commented that further tests are required. Live trials are due to start in July with around a dozen end broadband users across the island.

Homeowners will have their wireless service linked back to the exchange building at Kilchattan Bay, from where a dedicated radio link to the mainland will provide broadband internet access.

Liv Garfield, Chief Executive of BT Openreach, said it was still "early days", but she hopes the technology may provide an effective solution for 'not spots' and 'slow spots'.

Meanwhile, a Cambridge-based start-up has unveiled a new radio protocol for providing local broadband using 'white spaces'.

Neul has launched the Weightless protocol alongside a system called NeulNet, which includes production base stations and terminals.

The firm claims that NeulNet is able to deliver download speeds of 16Mb within a range of 10km, however performance tails off at greater distances.

It argued that the technology has a range three times greater than that offered by 3G networks and is better at indoor penetration – which could be good news for home broadband users.

Neul predicted that, with 150MHz of frequency available, it would cost just £31 million to deliver 'white space' broadband to 99 per cent of the UK population.

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