New ESN network 'future of emergency communication', says Kable

UK's emergency services will change their communication systems in three years' time, but not everyone is pleased with the new one.

UK's emergency services will change their communication systems in three years' time, but not everyone is pleased with the new one. As a matter of fact, the National Audit Office (NAO) considers the new system 'inherently high risk', according to The Guardian. Here's why, according to the report:  

“It has never been implemented anywhere before, is not being overseen by senior civil servants and is being pushed through too quickly to allow for teething problems.” 

It also seems that the new system wouldn’t be of much help in any anti-terrorist activities, it was added. The NAO commissioned market intelligence firm Kable to complete the international comparator work. 

Josh Hewer, senior analyst at Kable, told IT Pro Portal that although the implementation could be challenging, the government is moving in the right direction: "The proposed ESN network does represent the future of emergency services communications technology,” said Hewer.  

“Although there are differences, the Home Office is pursuing a network similar to South Korea but from a lower coverage and industrial base. The expedited timescales may prove challenging to the programme’s success and risk derailing this vital investment in improving the UK’s emergency services." 

Former home secretary Theresa May approved plans to purchase the new equipment, which costs £1.2 billion. Current system, Airwave, currently has 328,000 devices in use. The new system will allegedly save £500 per device, every year.  

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