BT is the world's oldest communications company, with a direct line of descent from the first national telecommunications undertaking in the world. The Electric Telegraph Company incorporated in 1846, was the first anywhere to develop a nationwide communications network exploiting leading edge telegraphy technology. Within ten years an international network had been developed, making communications possible within minutes and hours instead of days and weeks. The consequences for every aspect of society were dramatic and profound.
Fast forward to today and technology is more central to BT's business than ever before as it builds on the foundation of the digital era to create the information age. Innovation - the combination of technical know-how with commercial acumen - becomes even more crucial in a competitive world.
Virtual markets, electronic commerce, broadband and mobility are now the watchwords which are changing radically the way companies and people do business.
The successful companies of the future will be those which exploit their technology to underpin their business, generate revenues and minimise costs.
For BT, the willingness to embrace new relationships, both technical and commercial, will be key to maintaining its influence on the development of the communication industry.
As guardian of the UK's telecommunications legacy we recognise and attach great value and importance to our long and rich heritage. Our Heritage Policy details how, as a socially responsible company, we ensure the long-term preservation of this national heritage while providing access to the widest possible audience.
A more detailed history of BT is available.