Who are BT?
BT are a gigantic company, with a history to match. Indeed, any conversation about BT begins with a ‘where do we start?’ and ends with a ‘and that’s only some of it’, but we’ll give it a go anyway. With roots that stretch back to the founding of the Electric Telegraph Company in 1846, the company installed the very first telephone in the United Kingdom, connecting a Manchester hardware merchant, Mr. John Hudson with his other premises in Shudehill in January 1878. From there, the telephone went from business luxury to personal luxury to everyday necessity within one hundred years, connecting people from all over the world.
Of course, whilst telephones remain important to our lives, they’re no longer the only communications method we rely on to get through the day. These days, we’re much more inclined to use the Internet, and of course, BT were the first company to get there. Even as the market was opened up to competition (which quickly came in the form of Sky, TalkTalk and AOL), BT remained one of the biggest broadband suppliers in the country, and today are the biggest Internet service providers in the country, with 7.59 million subscribers, in comparison to Sky’s 5.4 million.
Television is a recent area of interest to BT, having launched BT Vision in 2006. The service, which combines Freeview (free to air) TV, on demand content from the major terrestrial channels, 25 premium entertainment channels and optional access to Sky’s Movies and Sports packages. The real fight, however, came when BT unexpectedly bid on and won three of the seven Premier League rights packages in 2012. From that, the company launched BT Sport, which was offered to BT Internet customers completely free of charge. Today, BT Sport is a growing force, with a 4K service and exclusive rights to the Champions League.
It doesn’t stop there, either, because BT have recently completed the purchase of the UK’s biggest mobile operator – EE. The deal cost £12.5 billion, and means that BT now offer home phone, broadband, pay-TV, mobile phone contracts and IT services. Whether you take up any of those services or not, it’s almost impossible to get through a normal day without coming into contact with them, be it speaking to an EE customer on the phone, watching football in the pub or just using one of their Wi-Fi hotspots.
Head office: BT Group plc, BT Centre, 81 Newgate Street, London EC1A 7AJ
Customer services: http://home.bt.com/pages/static/i/pansegment/contact_us/contactus.html
Number: 0800 800150