The Government is looking at using frequencies now carrying analogue television broadcasts as a means of providing some rural residents with wireless broadband.

The Government expects broadcasters to switch over to digital television between 2013 and 2015 - which would leave the 700MHz band available for future wireless links to both mobile and fixed broadband.

Communications Minister Steven Joyce has canvassed the concept at the Korea Australia New Zealand (KANZ) Broadband Summit in Auckland.

The Government plans the television migration to digital broadcasts to be completed by 2015, but won't announce a specific date for the switch-over until about 2012.

Mr Joyce said the Government had a $300 million programme to deliver rural broadband to the 25 per cent of people outside urban areas -- in addition to the $1.5 billion it is spending on an ultra-fast broadband urban fibre network.

Federated Farmers has been calling on the Government to show more ambition on the rollout of rural broadband, which it has argued is needed for economic competitiveness and social connectivity.

The federation's spokesman telecommunications, Donald Aubrey, said before Mr Joyce's speech that the Government was not spending enough money on its rural broadband.

"Government is not being ambitious or visionary enough about the prospect of rural broadband," he said.

"Broadband isn't the ability to download an MP3 track in a few seconds but ought to be about gains in productivity, innovation and community."

Mr Joyce told the summit that broadband investment was critical to achieving economic growth, innovation, efficiency and quality in important agricultural industries.

"Getting fast broadband to the 25 per cent of New Zealanders living outside of urban areas is a high priority," he said.

- NZPA