It has operations in around countries and is the largest provider of fixed-line , broadband and mobile services in the UK, and also provides subscription television and IT services. BT's origins date back to the founding of the Electric Telegraph Company in which developed a nationwide communications network. In , the General Post Office , a government department, became the monopoly telecoms supplier in the United Kingdom. British Telecommunications, trading as British Telecom , was formed in , and became independent of the Post Office in British Telecommunications was privatised in , becoming British Telecommunications plc , with some 50 percent of its shares sold to investors. The Government sold its remaining stake in further share sales in and
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It has operations in around countries and is the largest provider of fixed-line , broadband and mobile services in the UK, and also provides subscription television and IT services. BT's origins date back to the founding of the Electric Telegraph Company in which developed a nationwide communications network. In , the General Post Office , a government department, became the monopoly telecoms supplier in the United Kingdom.
British Telecommunications, trading as British Telecom , was formed in , and became independent of the Post Office in British Telecommunications was privatised in , becoming British Telecommunications plc , with some 50 percent of its shares sold to investors. The Government sold its remaining stake in further share sales in and BT controls a number of large subsidiaries.
A number of privately owned telegraph companies operated in Britain from onwards. Among them were: With the invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell in the GPO began to provide telephone services from some of its telegraph exchanges. In the Postmaster-General , Henry Fawcett started to issue licences to operate a telephone service to private businesses and the telephone system grew under the GPO in some areas and private ownership in others. The GPO's main competitor, the National Telephone Company , emerged in this market by absorbing other private telephone companies, prior to its absorption into the GPO in The trunk network was unified under GPO control in and the local distribution network in A few municipally owned services remained outside of GPO control.
These were Kingston upon Hull , Portsmouth and Guernsey. Hull still retains an independent operator, Kingston Communications , though it is no longer municipally controlled. In the GPO, a government department, became the Post Office , a nationalised industry separate from government. Post Office Telecommunications was one of the divisions. The British Telecom brand was introduced in On 1 October , this became the official name of Post Office Telecommunications , which became a state-owned corporation independent of the Post Office under the provisions of the British Telecommunications Act In BT's monopoly on telecommunications was broken with the granting of a licence to Mercury Communications.
On 19 July , the Government announced its intention to sell shares in British Telecom to the public. On 1 April , British Telecommunications was incorporated as a public limited company plc in anticipation of the passing of the Telecommunications Bill. This Bill received Royal Assent on 12 April, and the transfer to British Telecommunications plc from British Telecom as a statutory corporation of its business, its property, its rights and liabilities took place on 6 August Initially all shares in the new plc were owned by the Government.
In November , Shares were listed in London, New York, and Toronto and the first day of trading on was 3 December The Government sold half its remaining interest in December and the other half in July In July , the new Labour Government relinquished its Special Share "Golden Share" , retained at the time of the flotation, which had effectively given it the power to block a takeover of the company, and to appoint two non-executive directors to the Board.
The company changed its trading name to "BT" on 2 April In the s, BT entered the Irish telecommunications market through a joint venture with the Electricity Supply Board , the Irish state owned power provider. This venture, entitled Ocean, found its main success through the launch of Ireland's first subscription-free dial-up ISP, oceanfree.
As a telecoms company it found much less success, mainly targeting corporate customers. Its aim was to build a network which would provide easy global connectivity to multinational corporations. This alliance progressed further on 3 November when the two companies announced that they had agreed to a merger, creating a global telecommunications company called Concert plc.
However, in light of pressure from investors reacting to the slide in BT's share price on the London Stock Exchange , BT reduced its bid price for MCI, releasing MCI from its exclusivity clause and allowing it to speak to other interested parties. The reaction to the failure of the deal in the City of London was critical of then Chairman Iain Vallance and CEO Peter Bonfield , and the lack of confidence from the failed merger led to their removal. As BT now owned Concert, and still wanted access to the North American market, it needed a new partner.
By , this had receded to the point where a deal was possible and a deal was consummated in At its height, the Concert managed network was extensive. Although Concert continued signing customers, its rate of revenue growth slowed, so that in David Dorman was made CEO with a brief to revive it. The Esat Telecom Group was split in two with the landline and internet operations were combining with Ocean to became part of BT Ignite.
EsatBT installed the first DSL lines in Ireland, to try and compete heavily with former state telecoms company Eircom and operate one exchange, in Limerick. A demerger followed in November , when the former mobile telecommunications business of BT, BT Cellnet, was hived off as a separate business named " mmO2 ". All networks now owned or operated by mmO2 except Manx Telecom were renamed as O2. The de-merger was accomplished via a share-swap, all British Telecommunications plc shareholders received one mmO2 plc and one BT Group plc of which British Telecommunications is now a wholly owned subsidiary share for each share they owned.
British Telecommunications plc was de-listed on 16 November, and the two new companies started trading on 19 November. In BT made a number of acquisitions. It also acquired the Italian company Albacom. In August , BT acquired online electrical retailer Dabs. For actual progress see BT 21CN. BT stated that PlusNet will continue to operate separately out of its Sheffield head-office.
INS , an international provider of IT consultancy and software. In , with less than 0. Apart from the name change not much else changed in operations for another 12 months. The service allows people to register to give money to charity or collect fundraising donations. On 1 November , BT created a new central business services CBS organisation to provide customer services and improve operational efficiency levels.
On 24 November , shares in BT rose considerably on the announcement that the company was in talks to buy back O2 , while at the same time confirmed it was also in talks to acquire EE. The deal will combine BT's 10 million retail customers and EE's On 1 February , BT announced a new organisational structure that will take effect from April following the successful acquisition of EE. The EE brand, network and high street stores will be retained and will become a second consumer division, operating alongside BT Consumer.
It will serve customers with mobile services, broadband and TV and will continue to deliver the Emergency Services Network contract which was awarded to EE in late On 8 July , The Daily Telegraph reported that BT "has called in consultants from McKinsey to conduct a review of its businesses in the hope of saving hundreds of millions of pounds per year. The work, dubbed 'Project Novator', is understood to include a potential merger of BT's struggling global services corporate networking and IT unit with its business and public sector division".
On 28 July , BT announced organisational changes to "simplify its operating model, strengthen accountabilities and accelerate its transformation" and involves bringing together its BT Consumer and EE divisions into a new unified BT Consumer division that will operate across three brands — BT, EE and Plusnet. It will also include BT's Ventures business which "acts as an incubator for potential new growth areas of the company" and will report as a single unit from 1 October BT Group is a holding company ; the majority of its businesses and assets are held by its wholly owned subsidiary British Telecommunications plc.
BT has been found to have significant market power in some markets following market reviews by Ofcom. In these markets, BT is required to comply with additional obligations such as meeting reasonable requests to supply services and not to discriminate. BT runs the telephone exchanges , trunk network and local loop connections for the vast majority of British fixed-line telephones. It is also obliged to provide public call boxes. As well as continuing to provide service in those traditional areas in which BT has an obligation to provide services or is closely regulated, BT has expanded into more profitable products and services where there is less regulation.
These are principally, broadband internet service and bespoke solutions in telecommunications and information technology. As BT operates in around countries, it owns and leases a range of buildings and facilities in the UK and around the world. The deal included 6, properties and contributed towards alleviating its debt at the time, with the main advantage being flexibility as it allows BT to vacate property over time, so as to adapt to changing operational requirements.
Paul's tube station. BT remains one of the largest owners of telecommunications towers in the UK and were a major node in its microwave network. Its BT Tower in London is notable for numerous reasons such as being the tallest building in the UK from its construction in the s until the early s, its revolving restaurant at the top known as 'Top of the Tower' in operation through the late s and s, and remains one of the UK's most important communications nerve centres, the heart of a vast broadcasting and communications network.
It serves media production and distribution customers around the world and as part of the Things Connected Network launched in London, it became the highest building in the world to host an Internet of things IoT base station in September BT Group is organised into the following divisions: BT's current board of directors as of November BT's current executive committee as of March BT has the second largest defined benefit pension plan of any UK public company.
BT sponsored Scotland's domestic rugby union championship and cup competitions between and BT's logo will appear on the Ulster Rugby shirt sleeve for all friendlies, Heineken Cup and RaboDirect Pro12 matches as well as a significant brand presence at their home ground; Ravenhill Stadium. On 29 July , it was announced that BT had partnered up with Scottish Rugby Union in a four-year sponsorship deal with its two professional clubs; Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors that will commence from August The deal involves BT Sport becoming the new shirt sponsor for both clubs as well as being promoted with BT Group at their respective home grounds; Scotstoun Stadium and Murrayfield Stadium.
On 27 January , it was announced that BT, alongside YouTube will be the new joint headline sponsors in a three-year deal with Edinburgh International Television Festival. The two companies will "share prominence across all branding of the 41st TV Festival, including the famous MacTaggart Lecture and will work closely with the festival organisers in their bid to reflect new trends in a rapidly transforming industry, from new ways of distributing content to technical innovations such as Virtual Reality ".
BT is the founding and principal partner of the Wayne Rooney Foundation, which was established to improve the lives of children and young people. The Foundation will run events "to raise vital funds to support the work of key organisations dedicated to supporting disadvantaged and vulnerable children and young people". The match was screened live through BT Sport with BT MyDonate being the official fundraising platform for the testimonial, with both online and text options for donations promoted during the match.
BT will also broadcast the awards ceremony on BT. The new deal sees BT retain the naming rights to BT Murrayfield Stadium , alongside its role as principal partner of the Scotland national team and Scotland 7s. BT's logo will continue to be displayed on the front of Scotland rugby shirts across the world, in the Six Nations Championship , as well as the summer and autumn test matches. BT's financial results have been as follows: In , BT discovered it owned a patent U.
Patent 4,, which it believed gave it patent rights on the use of hyperlink technology on the World Wide Web. The corresponding UK patent had already expired, but the US patent was valid until
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