The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is the principal public service broadcaster in the United Kingdom, headquartered in the Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff. Its main responsibility is to provide public service broadcasting in the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man. The BBC is an autonomous public service broadcaster that operates under a Royal Charter. Within the United Kingdom its work is funded principally by an annual television licence fee, which is charged to all United Kingdom households, companies and organisations using any type of equipment to record and/or receive live television broadcasts; the level of the fee is set annually by the British Government and agreed by Parliament.
The privately owned BBC was the world's first national broadcasting organisation and was founded on 18 October 1922 as the British Broadcasting Company Ltd. The original company was founded in 1922 by a group of six telecommunications companies—Marconi, Radio Communication Company, Metropolitan-Vickers, General Electric, Western Electric, and British Thomson-Houston—to broadcast experimental radio services. The first transmission was on 14 November of that year, from station 2LO, located at Marconi House, London.
The British Broadcasting Company Ltd was created by the British General Post Office (GPO) and John Reith applied for a job with the existing company and later became its employee general manager. The company was wound-up and on 1 January 1927 a new non-commercial entity called the British Broadcasting Corporation established under a Royal Charter became successor in interest.