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|Type of network||data and voice|
N3 is the national broadband network for the English National Health Service (NHS), connecting all NHS locations and 1.3 million employees across England. In 2004, BT was awarded the contract to deliver and manage the IT project on behalf of the NHS. N3 was preceded by NHSnet, becoming N3 in 2006.
N3 was proposed as a single, high availability, secure and fast broadband network. It provides the foundations to deliver other components of the NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT) such as Choose and Book, the NHS Care Records Service, Electronic Prescriptions and the NHS Picture Archiving and Communications System.
N3 runs over a high-speed IP-based Virtual Private Network. It links acute hospitals and GP surgeries in England through 58 points of presence (POPs), and also has a further 5 POPs in Scotland. N3 is fully resilient at backbone and POP level, enabling 100% Core Network service availability. The standardised national infrastructure will enable the rollout of 21st Century healthcare IT applications and the next generation of IP-based converged communications solutions.
A range of N3 hosting providers can provide Information Governance Statement of Compliance (IG SoC) accredited, secure, 3rd Party application hosting services. Providers can also act in an advisory capacity to organisations wishing to offer bespoke applications to the NHS.
In March 2007, N3’s Voice Services were launched. These services offer free on-net calls, and potential to reduce fixed-to-mobile costs.
As the N3 Service Provider (N3SP), BT works with NHS Connecting for Health (NHS CFH) to support the delivery of the NPfIT, and develop products and services to capitalise on N3’s state-of-the-art capabilities.
The N3 network enables the user to access NHS Wide Web (nww) prefixed sites, as well as www.