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Deat knell for the Statewide Wireless Network?


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  • Deat knell for the Statewide Wireless Network?

    State to scrap $2 billion emergency radio network
    Tests so far have identified 19 problems
    Updated: 08/29/08 8:13 AM

    The state is expected to issue a “no-go” on a problem-plagued $2 billion statewide emergency radio network being tested in Erie and Chautauqua counties, a source familiar with the state Office for Technology told The Buffalo News late Thursday.

    The network’s vendor, M/A-Com, a subsidiary of Tyco International, had until today to prove it could meet rigorous state standards for the system’s viability.

    But the source said the state has identified 19 faults with the work that has been completed so far. They range from simple fixes, such as putting lights on the tops of the wireless communication towers, to system-wide problems, including coverage failures and dropped calls, the source said.

    With the state’s decision, M/ACom now has 45 days to fix the problems identified by the state. In the meantime, the state is looking into other types of technologies that may be better suited for its statewide network.

    The first phase of the network was being built in Erie and Chautauqua counties. Success here would have led to the next phase of the system, in New York City.

    State lawmakers are interested in achieving two major communications goals through a statewide network.

    First, they wanted agencies from police and fire to transportation and parks to be able to talk with each other. For instance, they wanted to make sure a state trooper patrolling in a snowstorm would be able to communicate with a state-operated snowplow. Right now, they cannot.

    They also wanted emergency responder agencies to be able to use their existing communications and link up to the system.

    So far, M/A-Com’s system has failed to show it can do either.

    Three rounds of testing have turned up other problems, including problems with coverage, particularly inside buildings — an issue that was tragically highlighted during the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center that claimed the lives of hundreds of rescuers.

    M/A-Com has “never convinced the first responder that this is a communication system that they could bet their lives on,” the source said.

    Chautauqua County authorities have praised the new system for improving coverage in rural areas.

    But Erie County officials found it had failed in large sections of the county, including major parts of Buffalo.

    In January, Erie County decided to pull out of the project as a full partner and began looking at ways to develop its own digital system. Erie County officials were particularly concerned about the high cost of having to purchase new equipment for emergency responders. The decision saved the county $28 million, county officials said.


  • #2
    NYS OFT has declared M/A-Com to be in default. They have formally given the vendor 45 days to remedy the deficiencies in the system.

    The Press Release can be found here: http://www.oft.state.ny.us/SWNdocs/d...essRelease.doc

    The letter to M/A-Com can be found here: http://www.oft.state.ny.us/SWNdocs/d...tter_Final.pdf


    • #3
      Last edited by GrayState; 01-25-2013, 05:42 PM.


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