BT Group plc (formerly known as British Telecommunications plc) which trades as BT (and previously as British Telecom) is the privatised former UK state telecommunications operator. It is still the dominant fixed line telecommunications provider in the United Kingdom.
BT owns and runs the telephone exchanges, trunk network and local loop connections for the vast majority of British fixed-line telephones. Currently BT is responsible for approximately 25 million telephone lines in the UK. BT is still the only UK telecoms operator to have a Universal Service Obligation (USO) which means it must provide a fixed telephone line to any address in the UK (with the exception of the Kingston upon Hull area). It is also obliged to provide public call boxes.
It is officially designated the dominant operator in British telecommunications market. BT's businesses are operated under special government regulation by the British telecoms regulator Ofcom (formerly Oftel).
BT Group has been organised into four business divisions:
- BT Global Services: Business services and solutions (formerly BT Ignite and BT Syntegra)
- BT Retail: Retail telecoms to consumers
- BT Wholesale: Wholesale telecoms core trunk network
- BT Exact / One IT: Research and Development, and consultancy
- BT Openreach: fenced-off wholesale division, tasked with ensuring that all rival operators have equality of access to BT's own local network.
 History of BT
- The Electric Telegraph Company,
- British and Irish Magnetic Telegraph Company,
- British Telegraph Company,
- London District Telegraph Company,
- and the United Kingdom Telegraph Company
With the invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 the GPO began to provide telephone services from some of its telegraph exchanges. However in 1882 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 1912.
The trunk network was unified under GPO control in 1896 and the local distribution network in 1912. 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.