Pressure mounted yesterday on BT to introduce unmetered Net access - after a top UK government minister entered the debate.

Minister for small businesses Patricia Hewitt yesterday backed the European Commission’s (EC) plans for a new telecoms regulator.

"We want to see a Europe based on enterprise and fairness. In the new era of the Internet that requires affordable, high-speed access for all. Intensifying competition in telecommunications is the way to drive down costs and ensure a variety of tariffs to meet different needs."

She also welcomed the Electronic Signatures Directive, passed on Tuesday by the European Union.