New York state launches $2b wireless project

The state of New York announced that it is ready to begin work on a new statewide public safety radio network and that the prime contractor will assume full risk on the mammoth project.

State officials said prime contractor M/A-Com of Lowell, Mass., has been assigned sole liability for performance under the 20-year, $2 billion project as one of a series of safeguards designed to protect the state in the event of nonperformance.

'The contract was constructed to provide strong controls for the state to manage and places liability squarely on M/A-Com,' according to a written statement from the New York State Office for Technology.

In addition to sole liability, other safeguards established in the contract include full risk and capital outlay by the contractor, payments made only with successful performance and acceptance, a $100 million letter of credit and the state's ability to buy out the system in whole or part throughout the terms of the contract.

M/A-Com, which was selected as the prime contractor to lead the design and construction of the statewide digital land mobile radio network, also will be responsible for the ongoing operation and maintenance of the network.

The New York State Office for Technology is the lead agency for the Statewide Wireless Network project and will serve as the overall project manager.

The project is intended to improve emergency response and homeland security efforts by replacing several outdated radio systems with an advanced digital network. State officials are encouraging local governments to participate in the project so they can benefit from enhanced emergency radio communications and greater interoperability during crises.

The network will be used as a day-to-day public safety radio system, as well as during emergencies. It will provide essential connectivity to enable on-demand and real-time coordination of police, fire, emergency medical and other necessary response systems.

William Welsh is the deputy editor of Government Computer News' sister publication, Washington Technology.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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