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Ofcom is pressing ahead with plans for the introduction of white space technology for broadband purposes, it has been announced.

The media regulator wants to use the radio spectrum that exists between digital terrestrial TV channels to provide increased broadband coverage across the UK.

According to Ofcom, the technology uses signals that can travel large distances and easily through walls, which makes it suitable for a wide range of new consumer applications.

Enhanced wireless broadband services could be one of the benefits of using this spectrum.

Ofcom explained that the majority of current Wi-Fi devices operate in spectrum at 2.4GHz, and white spaces could provide new capacity while boosting the range of devices.

White spaces could also be used to provide rural locations with broadband services, the regulator claimed.

"In practice, this could be achieved by building a network of transmitters that use white spaces to link remote houses and villages to larger towns that are already connected to the internet," it added.

Trials of this technology are currently being undertaken by the broadband industry to test this theory on the island of Bute in Scotland.

Ed Richards, Chief Executive at Ofcom, said the regulator had identified the potential of spectrum gaps, which are "all around us", at an early stage.

"Within Europe, we have been leading the way to try to harness this capacity without causing harmful interference to existing users of the spectrum," he stated.

"The solution we have devised creates the opportunity to maximise the efficient use of spectrum and open the door to the development of a new and exciting range of consumer and business applications."

Ofcom has decided to make white space devices licence-exempt, meaning  they will be allowed to operate freely on the condition they do not cause harmful interference to existing spectrum users.

A statutory instrument will be needed to bring this plan into action, meaning white space technology will not be used in the UK before 2013.

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