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The UK is one of the leading locations in Europe for telecommunications. Its liberal telecoms regime and access to leading-edge technology has attracted the majority of telecommunications operators, service providers and manufacturers.
Over the last two decades the Government has opened up the market to competition, moving away from the dominance of British Telecom (BT) to new fixed and mobile operators. The result is that the UK now has one of the most open and competitive telecoms markets in the world.
A further substantial step towards full deregulation took place in July 2003 with the Communications Act. This Act moves the UK away from a licence-based system to one where companies are operating under a "general conditions of entitlement" regime. These general conditions constitute a set of rules that operators are obliged to comply with.