The cost of unmetered internet access could fall following Oftel's proposal that BT cuts its wholesale prices by 17 percent. Oftel believes this price drop is now possible as certain call routing and management measures are no longer necessary.

"BT introduced a number of additional measures to support [unmetered internet access] which were included in the charge to other operators to protect BT's network from being overloaded", explains Oftel's David Edmonds. "BT has since made improvements to its network which means internet calls traffic can be processed without the additional measures".

These improvements have been in place since December 2001, according to Edmonds, which means that any price cuts would have to be backdated till then and BT should refund other operators.

Oftel suggests that a 17 percent decrease in the wholesale price of unmetered internet access would reflect the new situation. It is hoped that any savings made by other operators following a price cut would be passed on to consumers.

"Oftel's action will ensure that operators and consumers pay a fair price for unmetered internet access and reflects the relevant costs that BT incurs to provide this service", Edmonds said.

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