Almost a month after completing a systems integration test on the first phase of the New York statewide wireless network being built by Tyco Electronics Wireless Systems (formerly M/A-COM), state officials had not decided whether the vendor will be allowed to take the next step in the project as of press time.

In August, New York CIO Melodie Mayberry-Stewart wrote a letter declaring Tyco Electronics in default of its contract to build the SWN, noting that July tests in the first buildout area — covering Erie and Chautauqua counties — demonstrated the system performance to be “unsatisfactory and unacceptable.” The letter noted 19 “significant deficiencies,” and Tyco Electronics was given a deadline of Oct. 16 to rectify these problems.

Between Nov. 6 and Nov. 21, the state conducted systems integration tests of the SWN but had not released the results as of mid-December. The test results are being reviewed by officials for New York's Office for Technology and Federal Engineering, a firm hired by the state to provide independent validation and verification services for the SWN project.

“We're still evaluating the results of these tests and, as of this date, we have drawn no final conclusion regarding a decision on the future of SWN,” Mayberry-Stewart said during a Dec. 17 meeting of the SWN Advisory Council that was Webcast.

After Mayberry-Stewart made her introductory remarks, the SWN Advisory Council met in a closed executive session.

Under the state's original timetable, the systems integration test would have been completed on Nov. 18, and the evaluation of the test was supposed to be completed in time for an operational test — involving public-safety users — to be conducted beginning on Dec. 3. The operational test will be conducted only if the state is satisfied with the results of the systems integration test, according to state sources.

Given the lengthier evaluation period, any operational testing would be done in 2009, according to sources close to the project.

For Tyco Electronics, the outcome of the tests is critical. If the state does not accept the first phase of the SWN network, it has the right to nix the $2 billion contract and not pay any money to the company, which already has spent more than $50 million on the project and has secured a $100 million performance bond for the project, which is believed to be the largest LMR contract in U.S. history.