Web access will be cheaper for millions of people after Oftel announced measures for unmetered Internet access.

Telecom watchdog, Oftel wants BT to provide other telecoms operators with a new flat-rate, Internet-access structure from February 2001.

These new measures could see surfers pay as little as £10 per month. The product is an improvement on FRIACO - used by operators at the moment - which takes unmetered Internet traffic from the customer to BT’s local exchange. Operators then face additional costs to get the calls onto their own network.

Oftel’s new measures will carry Internet traffic on an unmetered basis from the consumer’s home to the network of a competing operator.

David Edmonds, director general of telecommunications, said: "Oftel’s proposals will give a major boost to the availability of unmetered Internet access for consumers.

“These measures should allow millions of people to have unlimited access to the Internet, without running up high call charges.”