BT Group plc (formerly British Telecom)

BT Group plc (trading as BT and formerly British Telecom) is a British multinational telecommunications holding company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It has operations in around 180 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 in 1846 of the Electric Telegraph Company, the world’s first public telegraph company, which developed a nationwide communications network. In 1912, the General Post Office, a government department, became the monopoly telecoms supplier in the United Kingdom.

The Post Office Act of 1969 led to the GPO becoming a public corporation. British Telecommunications, trading as British Telecom, was formed in 1980, and became independent of the Post Office in 1981. British Telecommunications was privatised in 1984, 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 1991 and 1993.

BT is a Royal Warrant holder of the British Royal Family and has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange, a secondary listing on the New York Stock Exchange, and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

BT controls a number of large subsidiaries. BT Global Services division supplies telecoms services to corporate and government customers worldwide, and its BT Consumer division supplies telephony, broadband, and subscription television services in the United Kingdom to around 18 million customers.

Trade name:                      BT

Formerly:                           British Telecom

Type:                                 Public limited company

Traded as:

  •     LSE: BT.A
  •     NYSE: BT
  •    FTSE 100 Component\

Industry:                             Telecommunications

Predecessor:                     Electric Telegraph Company, General Post Office, Post Office Telecommunications

Founded:                            1969; 51 years ago

Founder:                             William Fothergill Cooke, John Lewis Ricardo

Headquarters:                   BT Centre, London, EC1, United Kingdom

Area served:                      Worldwide


  •     Fixed-line telephony
  •     Mobile telephony
  •     Broadband internet
  •     Fibre-optic communication
  •     Digital television
  •     IT and network services
  •     Home security
  •     Fleet management
  •     Supply chain management
  •     Telecommunications equipment


  • Consumer
  • Business and Public Sector
  • Global Services
  • Wholesale and Ventures
  • Openreach Technology


  • BT Ireland
  • BT Italia
  • EE
  • Plusnet


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