National Telephone Company UK telephone directory for 1898-9, published by the National Telephone Company, British, 1898-1899.
In 1899, the National Telephone Company had around 100,000 subscribers, which gave it a virtual monopoly over telephone communication in the UK. The Post Office owned the long-distance trunk networks, but these only carried around 2 percent of all calls. The rental cost of a telephone was about £10 per year, which was far too expensive for most households. This price included unlimited local calls, which meant that domestic subscribers, who made relatively few phone calls, were subsidising business users, who made many. The National Telephone Company was taken over by the Post Office in 1912.