SWN Decision on Aug 29

Will the M/A Com Contract be terminated WITH CAUSE on Aug 29

  • Yes

    Votes: 39 86.7%
  • No

    Votes: 6 13.3%

  • Total voters
    45
  • Poll closed .
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studgeman

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So where are everyone placing their bets? Will the contract with M/A Com be terminated with cause on Friday August 29? Yes or No
 

PJH

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They haven't fixed the PA problems in over 5 years (which many are the same that NY is having) so I don't think 5 more days is going to do much...
 

comspec

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If it wasn't for the fact that this new Governor seems willing to make painful cuts I would say the system would survive inspite of its obvious flaws, just like it continues to survive in PA. , but given that there is a new sheriff in town I say its going to die. I think PA is in the mindset that "Well we have already spent so much we hate to admit we made a mistake, so let's keep pouring money into it" Patterson on the other hand can take the position, well it wasn't my idea, we can't afford it right now and it doesn't work as advertised so let's stop it.
 
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gatekeep

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I have to agree with comspec. It would seem that Patterson, will probably cut the program along with other state spending.
 
D

DaveNF2G

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There is also a new person running OFT since the contract was let, and she has been pushing hard for compliance or else.
 

c0untyb0y

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the easy, cheap solution

OpenSky will be replaced by CB radio. it's about the only thing the state can afford now. each state agency will continue to use their own VHF/UHF/800 MHz system currently in use today. just add a CB rig and whammo... instant interoperability.
 

iamhere300

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Last year a major two way trade magazine ran an "interoperability" insert. Lo and behold, it had a portable CB radio featured on the cover....
 

Bill_White

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OpenSky will be replaced by CB radio. it's about the only thing the state can afford now. each state agency will continue to use their own VHF/UHF/800 MHz system currently in use today. just add a CB rig and whammo... instant interoperability.
Money is no problem for NYS….
We’ll just close a couple more schools…
And cut funding to remaining schools.
Shut down a few more hospitals.
Cut services to veterans.
And if they are still short of cash….
Raise taxes..
 
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There is no doubt that there will be a little bit of money loss but they dont have to pay if Ma/com doesnt live up to their end..

Scrap Ma/com

I say scrap the state wide wireless and let counties do their own thing
 

Spec

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While me thinks the SWN system will die I shall await the 29th. I have seen some crazy stuff come out of Albany also sometimes referred to as "The Puzzle Palace." Until then....
 

gcr33

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You certainly would not want to use a tried and proven system such as other states already have, such as NJ, AR, SC, NC, MI, for example.
Wyoming, VA, GA are working on their systems.

Let's see the successful vendor has been MOTOROLA.
 

6m171

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State to scrap $2 billion emergency radio network
Tests so far have identified 19 problems
By Maki Becker NEWS STAFF REPORTER
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.

http://www.buffalonews.com/cityregion/story/425960.html
 

WatnNY

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I would say that article was a GUESS, and the title of the article is mis-leading.

Mike
 
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The Following information can be found on NYS offfice of techs website:

http://www.oft.state.ny.us/SWNdocs/docs/NYS_SWN_Default_Letter_Final.pdf -Letter of default

S basically they have 45 more days and after that tey will re test again and if Ma/Com Still hasnt fixed it the state can move forward ----

ALSO from OFT

Statewide Wireless Network
August 29, 2008 Decision
Questions and Answers

1. Does issuing the Letter of Default to M/A-COM mean we are stopping the contract?
No. It is a formal notice, with an end date, that provides M/A-COM a last chance to fix all outstanding deficiencies. The letter begins a 45-day cure period to resolve the deficiencies.

2. What happened to M/A-COM? Poor management? Bad technology?
After three rounds of testing they were unable to demonstrate their technology worked

3. What are the next steps?
M/A-COM will have 45 days to correct the issues outlined. Following the 45 day cure period, the State will decide to terminate the contract, recoup its costs for the project or to move forward. During the cure period CIO/OFT will begin to discuss other options and the availability of other current technologies to see if new products and systems can be leveraged [should M/A-COM fails to cure and the state decides to terminate the contract].

4. How much has been spent so far on the project? Will the state be reimbursed?
Through August 2008, approximately $52 million has been spent on SWN by the State since the contract was awarded to M/A-COM. As a contract requirement M/A-COM established a $50 million Standby Letter of Credit (SLOC) that must be replenished with a total value of $100 million

5. CIO/OFT has presented a “rosy picture” up until now, often excusing M/A –COM for the failures. What has changed?
CIO/OFT defended the process, not M/A-COM. We gave M/A-COM every opportunity to correct deficiencies within the terms of the contract. With repeated delays and failed tests, time has run out and the State must move on.

6. Why didn’t CIO/OFT disclose more of the problems throughout the process?
CIO/OFT was allowing the process to move forward according to the terms of the contract. In addition, the State wanted the independent validation and verification company, Federal Engineering, to confirm or refute the network’s deficiencies before going public with any test results

7. Has the new administration done anything differently in overseeing the project?
The appointment of Dr. Melodie Mayberry-Stewart and Dr. Jonathan J. Spanos have brought extensive experience in building large scale technology projects and risk mitigation to the State of New York.

8. How much has the state spent to date on SWN? Please describe the standby letter of credit (SLOC).

Through July 2008, the $51.5 million in state funds have been used for the statewide wireless network. This includes engineering fees, equipment costs, and the day-to-day expenses for the statewide wireless office which is part of OFT.

As a contract requirement M/A-COM, established a $50 million standby letter of credit that the state may draw upon in the event that it cancels the contract for cause. The contract also requires that M/A-COM replenish the SLOC up to a total of $100 million if the first $50 million is drawn upon.

An additional $8.5 million in federal grant dollars were used to purchase subscriber equipment from M/A-COM. M/A-COM has agreed to fully reimburse the state for the $8.5 million in federal grant monies in the event that the contract is terminated. This reimbursement is separate from the SLOC and not included in the $100 million total.

9. If the coverage requirements were met then why are we ending the contract? What specifically has M/A-COM not done?
Coverage was one contractual requirement. Deficiencies still remain in the following areas:

o Vehicular Repeaters/ VTACs (In building coverage)
o Gateways to use old legacy systems
o Unreliable Radio Equipment
o Emergency Call /Priority Status Calls Falling Off
o Network Performance and Coverage

10. How was the August 29th date chosen?
The first responders involved in the testing for the state asked for an additional four weeks and August 29, 2008 was agreed upon by all parties as the date by which the state would be able to make a decision. In the event that the state decides to activate the default process, M/A-COM will still have an additional 45 days to fix outstanding deficiencies.


11. Who is the third party verifier and what are its expenses? Are they included the $50 million above.
The third-party testing known as Independent Validation and Verification (IV&V) is being completed by a company called Federal Engineering, Inc. The state’s contract with Federal Engineering is for up to $1.5 million and runs through next July. Its contract is not included in the $51.5 million listed above because no payments have been made to Federal Engineering yet. Whatever we end up spending on Federal Engineering would be recoverable under the SLOC provisions of the contract

12. What will the loss of state aid mean to the SWN project?
The $40 million dollars in the administration's overall reduction plan were unused funds for fiscal year 2008-9 and therefore will not have an effect on the project.


Equipment/Technical/ Reliability/Performance Questions:

13. Does the technology work?
M/A-COM could not make the technology work in the Primary Region of Erie and Chautauqua counties.

14. How unreliable were the M/A-COM radios during the Summer 2008 testing?
Radio equipment failure rates (which required servicing by M/A-COM) were high:

o 5 of 16 (31%) mobiles
o 3 of 5 (60%) V-TACs
o 21 of 27 (78%) portables

15. How reliable was the network during the Summer 2008 testing?
During the CIO/OFT test period, July 7-18, multiple sites experienced extensive outages due to equipment and connectivity failures. The network experienced outages totaling 43 hours, 51 minutes. The SWN Contract mandates that there are no more than 82 minutes of outages per year.

16. You’ve said that M/A-COM has successfully deployed the technology in Pennsylvania and Florida. Why does it work there and not in New York?
The technology used in New York was different and more advanced. The system utilized radios which have not been deployed on any other OpenSky system to date. New York has very high technical requirements to meet our State’s public safety needs. Pennsylvania is a two-slot OpenSky TDMA while New York is a 4-slot OpenSky TDMA. Florida is not M/A-COM OpenSky architecture.


Testing and Quality Assurance Questions:

17. Why did CIO/OFT cancel the Summer 2008 user agency testing?
CIO/OFT did not cancel the testing. Systems Integration Test (SIT), conducted by CIO/OFT, is a precursor to operational Testing. The SIT failed. Based on that result we could not send out end users for testing.

18. Did the Summer 2008 testing show improvements from the previous two rounds?
CIO/OFT tests revealed the Primary Region had, in most cases, not improved and in some instances, most notably radio equipment failures had degraded. Minimal improvements were observed in the dispatch console performance.

19. After repeated failed tests, why did it take so long to come to this conclusion?
The State has given M/A-COM an appropriate amount of time to fix issues identified. We were hopeful they would be able to successfully correct the issues and we could move forward with the project. It now appears they cannot.




Next Steps and Future Contingency Plans Questions:

20. Will New York ever have a statewide network?
Yes. This remains the vision and mission of the CIO/OFT. The federal government is mandating a national system which New York will participate.

21. Members of the Administration have questioned the need for a statewide network. Is there a debate going on within the Administration about the necessity of a statewide network for first responders?
No. The Administration is committed to a statewide network with interoperability for all first responders.

22. Comment on NYS OSC Audit of the Statewide Wireless Network?
The Office for Technology has worked closely with the Office of the State Comptroller throughout the life of the Statewide Wireless Network project to ensure that contract terms are met and the state’s resources are protected. We have reviewed the detailed audit report, welcome its findings and will utilize them as we make our decision. OFT will continue to work with the Comptroller’s Office and all stakeholders to ensure New York has an interoperable public safety grade radio network for first responders.

23. What is SWN’s contingency plan?
The SWN project office is working on contingency plans that would be issued only in the event that M/A-COM does not remediate issues during the 45 day cure period and the state exercises its right to terminate its contract.


Overall Project Status:

24. Do we have anything to say about the current SWN project status?
As with any large scale project, there are typically glitches that must be worked through – rarely is a project perfect the first time. M/A-COM has an opportunity to remediate existing issues and we are hopeful they will be able to make the appropriate fixes so we can move forward with the project. The state will make a decision whether to continue with the project in its current format in the weeks ahead. The state remains committed to ensuring New York’s first responders have an interoperable public safety grade radio network for emergency communication.
 

Patech

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Dump this crap

I have been working on radio equipment for over 30 years and started with GE. This system is more screwed up than a football bat. The state should stop now and sue M/A-Com for the wasted time. States would be far better off granting money to the counties to implement P25 systems and link them all by the RSSI interface to achieve a state wide network.
 
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DaveNF2G

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Re: Q&A #16: The technology is not working satisfactorily in Pennsylvania, either. Somebody should have held OFT's feet to the fire on that issue.
 

PJH

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...... counties to implement P25 systems and link them all by the RSSI interface to achieve a state wide network.
Can you expand on that one? That makes absoutley no sense.
 
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