Bird & Bird Supports BT’s Bid For £530m Broadband Contract

19 March 2004

International law firm Bird & Bird has been assisting BT’s in-house legal team in their successful bid to procure, integrate and manage a broadband network that will link all NHS organisations in England. The £530 million contract, which has been signed for 7 years, will make the NHS the first major user of significant broadband capacity in the public sector.

The innovative network, known as The New National Network (or 3N) will bring high-speed broadband connectivity to the NHS, supporting one of the largest intranets in Europe. As well as saving costs within the NHS, the scheme will also deliver direct benefits to patients. Increased bandwidth will enable GP surgeries, primary care trusts and hospitals to benefit from faster, secure access and the ability to share and view large data files, patient records, video links and visual materials such as X-rays across the NHS, leading to more efficient patient treatment. Patients will be able to receive local specialist advice rather than travelling a distance to specialist centres while the highest quality images and video examinations can be sent to specialists to conduct diagnosis remotely.

BT’s in-house team, led by Tim Cowen, General Counsel for BT Global Services, has been working with a team from Bird & Bird, led by partner Dominic Cook.

Commenting on the work, Tim Cowen from BT said:

“We are delighted to have won this innovative contract that will see BT sourcing network connections from a range of network providers who have competed on price and value. We will also be responsible for the end-to-end integration of the network and the overall service it provides. Bringing together a scheme of this scale is a big challenge for which we fielded a strong internal team comprising experts from across BT. Throughout they were supported by an excellent team from Bird & Bird. The seamless combination and dedication of both sets of people has been absolutely critical in getting this right”.

Commenting on behalf of Bird & Bird, partner Dominic Cook added:

“This is an excellent result for BT. Having worked closely with BT on this project for several months, I am delighted with the outcome. The complexities involved in formulating BT’s integrator role made this a very interesting project that we are very pleased to have been part of”.

If you would like more information, please contact Dominic Cook on +44 (0) 20 7415 6146 or Larry Cattle on +44 (0) 20 7415 6156.