UK awards health network deal

UK National Health Service

The United Kingdom's Health Department awarded a £530 million ($992 million) contract to British Telecom plc for the National Health System's new national health network, the first fully broadband network in England's federal government.

The New National Network (N3) is part of the National Programme for Information Technology, which is intended to create an infrastructure allowing healthcare professionals at any level to access patient information across the country. BT will serve as an integrator, rather than providing the service. Implementation will begin in April.

The agency will save money by purchasing the service from several local telecommunications companies during the seven years of the contract. NHS is expected to save up to £900 million ($1.68 billion) versus using its existing NHSnet contracts, according to Richard Granger, director general of NHS Information Technology.

"The N3

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