The Police Information Technology Organisation (PITO) has chosen incumbent supplier Cable & Wireless (C&W) to provide its new Police National Network (PNN3) in a deal worth £75 million over five years – with an optional extension of a further two years.

The PNN3 Framework Arrangement deal will see C&W provide managed voice, data, video, internet and hosting services to all UK police forces, as well as more than 100 organisations in the wider criminal justice community. The services will enable the secure transmission of data between police forces, criminal justice and police-related agencies.

As the incumbent supplier for the current police network PNN2, it will provide greater functionality with PNN3 whilst maintaining the same look and feel for users.

New services offered include Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and video conferencing for internal and force-to-force or force-to-agency communications. PNN3 will offer standard secure internal and external telephony access with built-in security and Criminal Justice Extranet (CJX) connectivity with encryption, firewall, internet access, web hosting and security services.

PNN3 is also designed to provide enhanced managed bandwidth services so forces can scale their network capability, depending on operational requirements. This means forces can flex network bandwidth in an ad-hoc way, in the event of a major incident. Under PNN3, forces will be able to exceed their standard bandwidth requirement without having to notify C&W in advance, enabling faster responses to unplanned events.

The new network will ensure a common communications platform capable of meeting the information exchange requirements of the Police Service for the next five years. In addition, it standardises security levels so police data is not compromised. PNN3 also provides significant cost savings through economies of scale.

Ian Readhead, Hampshire Constabulary deputy chief constable and Association of Chief Police Officers lead for the PNN project said: "PNN3 plays a pivotal role in the drive toward a more modern Police Service. It facilitates greater communication between forces and secure access to centralised data; making interoperability easier. This is a key recommendation of the Bichard Inquiry and allows us to deliver an effective, collaborative and integrated national, regional and local information-sharing and intelligence capability. PITO have done a brilliant job in scoping the project and ensuring that the needs of the police community have been met."

Migration from PNN2 to PNN3 is scheduled for completion by October 2007.