UK news site The Register have uncovered a bit of stunning news - BT are to offer unmetered calls by the end of the year. This has not as yet been announced by BT, nor is it confirmed by other sources I've seen, so the following must all be taken with the usual caveats.

The new tariff, likely to be branded BT Together Local, will cover both voice and data, however, given BT's rearguard fight against anything helping internet users, it's probably no surprise that the 0845 and 0870 numbers most ISPs use will be excluded from the £20 a month deal, as will calls over an hour in length.

Not only that, but as The Register are reporting, the product will not be available on a wholesale basis, so other telcos will not be permitted to compete with it.

In the UK, BT owns almost all of the local loop (connections to consumers' houses), and is only now moving towards opening up to competitors under pressure from Oftel, the telcoms regulator.

It looks like UK internet use will continue to grow much more slowly than should be the case, and the demand for cable modems and other unmetered access technologies will expand rapidly.