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NHSnet was a private wide area network service used by the National Health Service (NHS) in England.[1]

NHSnet was managed jointly by BT and Cable & Wireless and was developed under the aegis of the NHS Information Authority. However the standards of service varied widely throughout the NHS due to different local practices and levels of equipment. NHSnet was succeeded by N3 in 2006,[2] it is sometimes referred to (by a sort of retrospective nomination) as "N2".

Connections to NHSnet were strictly controlled by the NHS Information Authority, which specified the security required and data protocols allowed under its 'Code of Connect' agreements[citation needed]. Similarly, it controlled access to or from the Internet, including email, through managed gateways.

Organisations wishing to provide information or applications to their NHS partners over NHSnet had a choice of applying for their own Code of Connection, which required a considerable investment in time (typically 6 months), effort and infrastructure; or partnering with one of the restricted number of organisations (BT, Cable and Wireless and ioko) able to use their own Code of Connect for these purposes[citation needed].

NHSnet admin passwords were exposed, during the attack of Lulzsec in June 2011.[3]


  1. ^ "Background to N3 - The National Network". NHS Connecting for Health. Archived from the original on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2017. 
  2. ^ "NHSnet: the Closure Countdown". N3. Archived from the original on 12 November 2008. Retrieved 9 November 2017. 
  3. ^ "Hackers warn NHS over security". BBC News. BBC. 9 June 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2017.