The Civil Resilience team within BT Group are responsible for engaging with the central UK Government, Ofcom and the Devolved Administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland during the planning and response phases of emergencies. Emergencies for BT Group can be defined as incidents where there is an impact or potential impact to the BT brand, BT people or the BT network for example pandemic infections, loss of power (National Power Outage) and flooding.

Who we are

BT’s Civil Resilience team of national and regional managers work in close partnership with the Government to keep BT provided communications up and running even in disaster situations.

We also work closely  with  Category1 & 2 responders and Resilience partners at Local, Regional and National level to create effective response plans for major civil emergencies in the UK.

Our emergency services include disaster recovery and incident management teams who work 24/7 and a fleet of emergency response vehicles to support our deployed liaison managers ensuring they can stay in touch with the BT Command team.

BT Civil Resilience

The Civil Resilience team is also responsible for ensuring all incidents that impact BT, EE and Plusnet networks are reported to Ofcom urgently and monthly as laid out in the reporting criteria of the Communications Act 2003 Section 105K. Ofcom may request a Post Incident Review (PIR) is conducted following any network incident, the Civil Resilience team are responsible for ensuring that a teleconference is convened with the relevant BT representatives to discuss:

  • What happened?
  • Why it happened?
  • What BT Group are doing to avoid similar happening in the future?

The BT Civil Resilience team is made up of a core team in BT Networks and Civil Resilience Duty Officers (CRDOs). The team work together to ensure that BT’s obligations under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 (CCA 2004) are fulfilled.

The Civil Resilience core team engage externally at a National level across central Government agencies, - the Department of Science Innovation & Technology (DSIT) the Department of Levelling Up Housing & Communities (DLUHC), Ofcom and the Devolved Administrations and through membership of the Electronic Communications Resilience Response Group (EC-RRG). Internally the Civil Resilience core team engage across BT Group supporting in the planning and response phase of emergencies.

Civil Resilience duty officers are a team of business continuity experts from across BT Group who are on call to respond to incidents and emergencies as the first point of escalation.

We also work with the emergency services and other utilities at regional and national level to create effective response plans for major civil emergencies in the UK.

For any Category 1 or 2 responders who wish to contact the Civil Resilience Team please go onto Resilience Direct and search 'BT'.

Business Continuity

Our business continuity approach is to:

  • Identify, plan, resource and implement actions that prevent or reduce the risk of disruption to key activities and services across all areas that fall within the scope of this policy.
  • Provide executive management with assurance that critical business processes will continue operating at acceptable levels by focusing on the availability of information and infrastructure.
  • Help align business continuity goals with BT business goals, provide resilience against disruption and minimise impact to BT in the event of a disaster or emergency.
  • Regard business continuity as a key organisational activity and maintain a comprehensive business continuity programme to implement and manage our information systems, business premises, employees and any other workers.
  • Deliver a Business Continuity exercising schedule that ensures our plans:
    • Maintain or rapidly recover critical activities
    • Maintain the availability of key resources to support critical activities
    • Prevent or limit the disruption to business products, services, employees and infrastructure
    • Review all prioritised BCM plans and procedures regularly 

We have established dedicated teams and resources to monitor, maintain and improve our BCM programme and align our approach to internationally accepted standards and guidelines.

For more information please contact:

Crisis Management

The objective of Crisis Management is to restore normal operations as quickly as possible with the least possible impact on either the business or the user.

A considered and measured response to network incidents/event.

A common methodology for managing incidents across all platforms and technologies.

It is our job to know exactly what we’re doing so they can tell their customers.

Every problem detected is an opportunity for the team to improve service and prevent it happening again.

Pan-BT Major Incident Management (MIM)

24/7 dedicated Incident Team, operating out of two sites, providing communication, command and control around network failures.

Emergency Response Team

BT’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) provides a proactive and reactive capability to deal with threats to our fixed and mobile networks in the UK. 

  • The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that establishes a coherent framework for emergency planning and response ranging from a local to national level.

    There are two different Categories of Responder who are required to work together in the planning & response phases of emergencies.

    • Category 1 Responders - Local authorities, Police forces, Fire services, Ambulance services, HM Coastguard, NHS, the Environment Agency
    • Category 2 Responders - Electricity distributors and transmitters, Gas distributors, Water and sewerage undertakers, Telephone service providers (fixed and mobile), Transport Health and Safety Executive & Voluntary Aid Societies

    An emergency is defined as

    • An event or situation which threatens serious damage to human welfare in a place in the United Kingdom
    • An event or situation which threatens serious damage to the environment of a place in the United Kingdom
    • A war, or terrorism, which threatens serious damage to the security of the United Kingdom

    The United Kingdom has been divided into seven Regional Resilience areas which are then subdivided into 48 Local Resilience Forums (LRF) in England and Wales, three Regional Resilience Partnerships (RRP) in Scotland and three Emergency Planning Groups (EPG) in Northern Ireland.

  • The UK EC-RRG - The Electronic Communications Resilience and Response Group - takes the lead in developing and maintaining links within the telecommunications sector and with Government on matters connected with resilience through:

    • providing a forum for exchanging resilience planning and response information within the telecommunications industry sector and with Government
    • providing a response through NEAT (the National Emergency Alert for Telecommunications) to rapidly develop a situational picture of the state of the sector in an emergency 
    • undertaking work programmes to inform industry response arrangements to emergencies 
    • fostering a closer working relationship and understanding of telecommunications with National, Regional and Local Resilience Forum (LRF) communities 
    • owning and maintaining the National Emergency Plan for the telecommunications sector

    The Group believes that the response to major incidents that involve telecommunications benefits from a co-ordinated response based on a shared understanding of the impact.

  • Compliance with security duties under the Communications Act 2003

    Regulatory requirements

    A3.2 The Telecommunications (Security) Act 2021 (the ‘Security Act’) introduced a revised framework for protecting the security and resilience of providers of public electronic communications networks and public electronic communications services in the UK (together referred to as ‘Communications providers’).

    A3.3 The new legislative framework includes the following elements:

    a) the overarching security duties set out in sections 105A and 105C of the Communications Act;

    b) duties to take specified measures imposed by the Secretary of State by regulations (sections 105B and 105D);

    c) guidance given by the Secretary of State in codes of practice (section 105E);

    d) a duty to explain a failure to act in accordance with a code of practice where Ofcom directs a Communications provider to do so (section 105I);

    e) duties to report security compromises to Ofcom and to inform users (sections 105J and 105K);

    f) a duty to comply with a direction given by Ofcom under section 105L in relation to informing others of a security compromise (section 105L(8))

    g) a duty to co-operate with an assessment under section 105N (section 105N(2)(a)); and

    h) a duty to comply with the requirements set out in an assessment notice under section 105O

    Download the full document - Ofcom General policy on ensuring compliance with security duties (PDF)