Where are we now?
Our current network is a very reliable and effective means of communication.
However, it is expensive and is only really suitable for voice communications and limited data transmission.
The technology and standards required to deliver a fully functional replacement, that can meet current and future data transmission requirements, does not yet exist.
As such the U.K Home Office, in line with the Governments digitisation agenda, has embarked on the Emergency Services Mobile Communication Programme (ESMCP).
What are we planning to do and why?
The ESMCP will provide the next generation communication system, including integrated critical voice and broadband data services, for the three emergency services (Police, Fire and Rescue and Ambulance) and other public safety users.
This system will be called the Emergency Services Network (ESN). ESN will be a mobile communications network with extensive coverage, high resilience, appropriate security and public safety functionality.
This will allow the three emergency services to communicate even under the most challenging circumstances.
How and when are we going to deliver this?
The main contracts for the implementation of the ESN were awarded in December 2015.
We will begin the preparation work to allow us to access the ESN from February 2016. This will include the procurement of the required hardware and software; preparation of the relevant networks; as well as staff training and awareness sessions.
Once this preparatory work is complete, we will begin our transition on to the ESN, via a phased approach, in November 2018. It is anticipated that the transition will take up to 12 months with a proposed completion date of around November 2019.
How will we measure success?
A fully operational connection to the ESN.
What will this mean to you?
Along with other emergency services, we will have a network and system that will enable an integrated response to incidents. This collaboration with our partners will ensure a more efficient and cost effective Service and will improve the service we provide to our communities.