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British Telecom

British Telecommunications Group plc (commonly known as 'British Telecom' or BT) is the privatised former British state telecommunications operator.

Table of contents
1 See also
2 External links

History of BT

  • private National Telephone Company
  • absorbs other private telcos
  • nationalised in 1912 as part of the General Post Office
  • GPO broken up into British Telecom and Post Office
  • privatised again as British Telecommunications plc
  • BT split into group companies, new holding company name
  • mmO2 demerged

BT as it is today

BT owns and runs the telephone exchanges and local loop connections for the vast majority of British fixed-line telephones.

As the dominant operator in British telecommunications, BT's businesses are ostensibly operated under special government regulation by the British telecoms regulator Oftel.

The collapse of the alternative telco market in Britain has had adverse consequences for Oftel's strategy for telecoms deregulation in the UK, and leaves BT as the unchallenged dominant operator in ADSL connections, as well as traditional fixed-line telephony. As of February 2002, just 200 local loop connections have been 'unbundled' from BT operation under local loop unbundling.

BT Group has four main businesses:

  • BT Ignite: retail broadband networks
  • BTopenworld: retail Internet
  • BT Retail: retail telecoms
  • BT Wholesale: wholesale telecoms network
  • BT exact: Research and Development, and consultancy

The former mobile telecommunications business of BT ("BT Cellnet") has now been demerged into a separate business named "mmO2[?]". This was a move designed to remove the burden of debt with which the company had encumbered itself, much of which was acquired during the bidding round for the 3rd generation mobile telephony[?] licenses.

See also:

BT's "Web patent"

BT has a controversial patent, US patent number 4873662, which it claims gives it a monopoly on the technology of hyperlinks on the World Wide Web. Opponents of BT's claims hold that the patent is not valid, due to prior art by both Douglas Englebart and Ted Nelson's Project Xanadu. On February 11, 2002, a court case relating to BT's claims started in a US federal court against Prodigy Communications Corporation[?]. Whilst the UK license has long since expired, the US patent is not due to expire until 2006.

A U.S. court ruled on August 22, 2002 that the BT patent is not applicable to Web technology, and granted Prodigy's request for summary judgment.

See also

External links



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