BT Wholesale wants to change the way it charges ISPs for broadband access, which could lead to lower prices and better services for businesses and consumers.
The idea is to give ISPs more flexibility to innovate in packaging consumer and business ADSL services.
These could range from metered services for very light users, to lower bandwidth 'entry level' ADSL services.
Under BT's plans, ISPs would be given a choice of how they pay for BT IPStream to deliver broadband over BT's network.
BT explained that the proposals are based on either the maximum network bandwidth selected, known as capacity charging, or the level of network usage month by month, known as usage charging.
If they chose the capacity charging option, ISPs would pay a higher charge for fixed bandwidth.
If they chose the usage charging option, the charge would vary on how much data the ISP sent over the network each month.
ISPs could tweak the services and offer a range of options dividing the bandwidth they have paid for between customers.
The changes will help to extend broadband adoption in the UK, according to analysts.
Rupert Wood, broadband consultant at Analysys, said: "It is democratising broadband because different people have different needs.
"Some may only want broadband for the internet connection and see the service as an upgraded modem.
"We have studied European countries which offer different packages to end users and those which have a range have a faster take-up of broadband than those which rely on flat-rate packages."
The proposals are currently being examined by ISPs.
"We have been participating with this development and believe it is good news. It has the potential to create choice for consumers, but it is still in the concept stage," said Mary Turner, UK chief executive at Tiscali.
It is hoped that the changes can be introduced later this year with announcements on pricing and packages expected by the spring.
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