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N3 Janet Gateway - taken down on 31st January 2018

8 March 2018 at 5:33pm

Dear All,

This is just to confirm that the N3 Janet Gateway was taken down at 5pm on Wednesday 31st January 2018. Now traffic from the old N3, now called the Transition Network, to Janet IP addresses is routed through the general Transition Network to internet gateway. (This applies to England).

We did not receive much feedback and only one concern and we hope to work with that group to minimise the impact of this change. We consulted with NHS Digital and they were comfortable that the extra traffic can be accommodated by the Transition Network to internet gateway. In future NHS to internet traffic will be through new Health and Social Care network connections.

There are a couple of possible mitigations for any impacts:

  • request some protected bandwidth across the Transition Network to internet gateway for any critical flows
  • request a firewall change to the Transition Network to internet gateway for critical traffic using unusual ports and protocols not automatically supported. If you think this might be the case please send details and we can check with NHS Digital.

We would be happy to help with any of these requests so please get in touch if you think they might apply to your organisation or there is anything else we can do.

Many thanks,


Previous notification:

Dear All,

N3 and HSCN

As you know the N3 Network in England is coming to an end and is being replaced by the Health and Social Care Network (HSCN). The NHS in Scotland moved from N3 to SWAN some time ago. The N3 contract in England officially finished on 31st March 2017 although at that point it became the Transition Network provided by BT while HSCN contracts are put in place. We had a presentation on HSCN at the last NHS-HE Forum and there is more background here, including the list of NHS organisations and how they intend to procure HSCN here . The idea of HSCN is that it will be an open market of HSCN compliant suppliers, who will interconnect, and not just one network.

N3 Janet Gateway

Many of you will also be aware that an N3 Janet Gateway has been in place since 2010.  The gateway automatically diverts traffic in N3 that is addressed to Janet IP addresses directly through that Gateway rather than out through the N3 internet gateway (which certainly back in 2010 was highly contended). It is a one way link only. More background here.

A few things have changed significantly since the N3 Janet Gateway started:

  • Many Trusts have an internet feed separate from N3 and that is the route used for traffic to Janet
  • There are now over 130 NHS sites with eduroam and this tends to be the route students use for communication (eduroam generated traffic also avoids N3)
  • The N3 internet gateway has increased in size and is less contended than in the past.
  • The overall direction of travel for the HSCN is to rely upon the Internet rather than individual peering or gateways for the movement of traffic between HSCN Consumer Networks (CNs) and third-party networks such as Janet.

These changes have meant that the N3 Janet Gateway has not seen any major growth in use, and it remains relatively lightly used. At the same time, the costs of providing it have risen significantly since the formal end of the N3 contract earlier this year.

Proposal that the N3 Janet Gateway is removed after 31st January 2018

With these other changes and with the HSCN now approaching rapidly, Jisc intending to give notice on the N3 Janet Gateway contract by the end of October, which with a three month notice period, would mean the N3 Janet Gateway finishing at the end of January 2018. Once the N3 Janet Gateway is removed the traffic from the Transition Network to Janet would instead be routed through the Transition Network to internet gateway. Eventually of course the Transition Network itself will cease as full HSCN takes over.

Please let us know if you think there will be any significant negative implications

This intention to give notice is in the belief that there will be no major issues for users with this change. This is based on prior consultation with NHS Digital and with those user groups we know to have used it in the past to develop a number of collaborative services.  Nevertheless, if you are concerned that the removal of the N3 Janet Gateway is going to cause serious problems with your services then please get in touch as soon as possible and not later than 25th October 2017.

Many thanks,


Malcolm Teague
NHS-HE Coordinator

Lumen House, Library Avenue, Harwell Oxford, Didcot, OX11 0SG

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