In EU countries, electronic communications networks and services are governed by Directives and Regulations set by the European Institutions. These create an EU-wide framework (the Common Regulatory Framework) for fixed and wireless telecoms, internet, broadcasting and transmission services.

The Directives are there to encourage competition, which in turn leads to better investment, lower prices and increased quality of service in fixed and mobile networks, and better protection for consumers. They require national regulators to review markets for significant market power (SSMP) every three years and where relevant, to put in place appropriate and proportionate remedies. They also include rules covering spectrum, consumer protection and universal service obligations.


The communications sector in the UK is vitally important to the health of the UK economy, and the wellbeing of its citizens. It supports and underpins major economic and social outcomes for businesses, the public sector and consumers far beyond its direct impact. BT plays a key role in the sector's success in the UK, across the EU and globally. BT is keen to continue to invest and support jobs across all regions of the UK.

We're looking to have a positive, enduring and constructive ongoing relationship between the UK and the EU, promoting long term investment and prosperity, and leveraging the UK's strengths in key sectors.

We've recognised the following priorities as being essential to BT and our sector playing a positive part in Britain's future success:

Regulation: A stable and proportionate regulatory environment which supports long-term investment and innovation.

Data: Continued ability to transfer data freely across borders; no obligations on data localisation in the UK or EU.

People: Certainty as soon as possible for our employees, continued access to scarce talent and resources, and the ability to move people throughout the EU on an intra-corporate basis.

Trade: A close, open and non-discriminatory trading relationship with the EU and other major markets, recognising the UK's strengths in services across the financial, digital/creative and communications sectors.

Innovation: Full reciprocal access to EU bids for R&D and related funding (e.g. Horizon 2020), including continued full participation in dialogues that set research priorities and standards.


Our briefing notes contain lots of information on a range of topics about BT and the communications industry.

More on our national and international impact