Oftel calls for end to up-front Net charges

Telecoms regulator Oftel is trying to boost the provision of unmetered Internet access with proposals to make BT stop charging...

Telecoms regulator Oftel is trying to boost the provision of unmetered Internet access with proposals to make BT stop charging rival operators up-front for the service.

Oftel said: "Currently an operator has to pay BT in advance for unmetered capacity, whereas metered capacity is paid for in arrears."

Other issues in the consultation document, published today (Monday 28 January), include the circumstances under which BT must increase network capacity to handle Internet traffic, and BT's ability to charge for the routing of Internet calls within its exchanges.

David Edmonds, director general of telecommunications, said: "Over four million UK homes now use unmetered Internet access and Oftel must ensure that demand can continue to be met."

The consultation period runs until 25 February 2002, with a final decision due later in the year.

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