Oftel is investigating the pricing schemes set up by BT for some of its unmetered, flat-rate Internet access pricing packages.

The regulator is investigating BT's Surf Together and BT Talk packages to ensure BT is not undermining competition, Oftel said. The investigation was launched in early November after BT notified Oftel of price changes and new packages for residential customers that are supposed to come into effect on December 1.

Oftel's announcement comes a week after the regulator upheld complaints that BT is unfairly restricting access to its local-loop network by rivals wanting to use its lines to offer high-speed Internet access.

BT is obliged to allow competitors to install equipment in its local exchanges. However, in some cases, BT has told operators that they cannot offer services because there isn't room for their hardware.

In response, Oftel declared that independent operators should be allowed to commission independent surveys of exchanges if BT claims there is insufficient space in one of its exchanges. If the survey finds there is room for the equipment after all, BT must pay its rivals compensation.