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BT faces £4.5m NHS claim over broadband delays

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BT is facing a bill for £4.5m amid reports that it has failed to deliver high speed broadband links to a key NHS project on time. According to the Financial Times, BT is set to miss key targets set for April next year and, as a result, is being hit by the contract penalties.

Even though the National Health Service (NHS) and BT are working on an "agreed settlement", the compensation claim comes less than a year since BT won the contract to wire-up the NHS.

In April, the UK's dominant fixed line telco won the £530m contract to provide and manage a broadband network to link all NHS organisations in England. The deal is set to run for seven years and was the first significant public sector investment in broadband.

The network is due to serve all 18,000 NHS locations and sites - the current NHSnet contract only reaches 10,000.

Dubbed 'N3', the New National Network means faster transfer of all clinical data between NHS organisations. It should support electronic booking and the NHS Care Records Service, and let doctors exchange visual data – such as video and x-rays - much more quickly.

BT said the broadband deal had "started more slowly than we intended [but is] now back on track". ®

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