NHS staff are being warned against live-streaming their favourite Olympics events because of the pressure it will put on the N3 network.
The N3 website says using the Enhanced Internet Gateway to browse media-rich Olympics sites could have a “genuine impact on business and clinical use of the EIG.”
“Users viewing live streaming and video replays of significant Olympic events and news can potentially impact the entire N3 network,” it says.
“EIG users must question their internet usage during this period and protect business critical health applications that directly support patient care.”
A spokesmanfor N3 service provider BT told eHealth Insider that N3 and NHS Connecting for Health have raised awareness with trusts of the potential performance issues caused by streaming this type of material, but trust internet use policies are mostly agreed locally.
The gateway can categorise and prioritise clinical content over other internet traffic and BT offers trusts the ability to prioritise access to specific websites to support clinical and business needs.
“However, internet capacity is not infinite so we have put in place increased network monitoring so we can assess bandwidth use during the games,” the spokesperson said.
“This worked well during the 2012 European Football Championships and Wimbledon 2012 with no detrimental impact noted upon the N3 network service performance.
“We are confident that these activities will help safeguard the performance of critical services should users try to use the NHS network to stream live Olympic coverage.”
N3 is also anticipating an increase in demand for access to the N3 network via the N3 Remote Access Server, due to more staff working from home. This will in turn put pressure on the N3 service desk.
“It is difficult to predict the likely increase in demand, but we are confident that the existing capacity of the N3 Remote Access service is sufficient to meet the demand caused by additional home working during the Olympics,” the spokesman said.
Information online says the N3 Remote Access User Guide will help staff successfully use the RAS service.
It says people should check that: their N3 RAS token is configured correctly; that PIN details are known and kept both safely and securely; and a test to confirm successful connection to the N3 network is completed.
The spokesman said BT is also aware of a number of trusts that intend to use N3 video conferencing and web conferencing more as part of their plans to reduce travel during the Olympics.
EHI contacted a number of London trusts regarding the use of IT in their Olympics planning, but all said they are using existing devices or systems to support remote working.
© 2012 EHealth Media.
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