Telco watchdog Oftel today ordered BT to cut its wholesale unmetered internet access charges by 17 percent, a saving that may or may not be passed on to consumers.

The complaint, originally brought by cable provider Cable & Wireless, accused BT of unjustly charging operators for "call routing and management measures" that were no longer necessary.

Oftel upheld the complaint, ordering BT to cut wholesale charges by a hefty 17 percent, backdated to June last year.

"BT has made significant improvements to its network since wholesale unmetered internet access was first introduced over three years ago," said David Edmonds, director general of telecommunications at Oftel.

"At that time, BT included several mechanisms to route internet calls through the appropriate service provider and call management measures to protect its network from being overloaded. [But] BT's network can now process internet call traffic without these additional measures."

It is not clear whether ISPs will pass on these savings to their customers, however past wholesale price cuts have resulted in reductions at retail.