Tyco Electronics M/A-COM will fix problems identified in tests of the first phase of a statewide wireless network for New York, company President Chuck Dougherty stated recently in a letter to the editor of an area newspaper.

In the letter that was published in The Buffalo News, Dougherty said described the M/A-COM’s experience as similar to the company’s experience with other deployments, including statewide networks in Pennsylvania and Florida.

“We readily concede that we have all endured a host of challenges as we have begun deploying the system. And we readily concede that more challenges await us,” Dougherty wrote in his letter. “But our track record demonstrates that we have met — and will meet — these hurdles and will deliver a reliable, state-of-the-art system.”

M/A-COM’s status as contractor for the massive $2 billion LMR project was placed in jeopardy when the state of New York declared the company to be in default of its contract and ordering that 19 “significant deficiencies” be remedied Oct. 16. If the state does not accept the first phase of the network—built in Erie County and Chautauqua County—it has the right to nix the $2 billion contract and not pay any money to M/A-COM, which already has spent more than $50 million on the project and has secured a $100 million performance bond.

Although M/A-COM has provided the state with its plan to address the remaining issues with first phase of the network, that plan is not being released publicly, company spokeswoman Victoria Dillon said.

“We’re working through it and are confident in our ability to address them,” Dillon said.

During the last testing period in July, network performance in the first buildout phase was “unsatisfactory and unacceptable, according to a letter written by New York CIO Melodie Mayberry-Stewart.

Among the deficiencies noted in the letter were remarkably high failure rates for equipment during July testing, including a 31% failure rate for mobile radios tested on the system, a 60% failure rate among vehicular tactical repeaters and a 78% failure rate for portable radios.

Other system performance problems were handoffs between vehicular repeaters and network towers, the capacity of the vehicular-repeater solution, the emergency-call function, intermittent failures of the caller-alias feature and inconsistent voice quality when using Tyco Electronics gateways to bridge legacy LMR communications into the system.

But perhaps the most significant statistic noted was network downtime. During the July testing period, the network was down for 43 hours and 51 minutes, when the contract allows only 82 minutes of downtime per year.

Tyco Electronics officials last week said the company had remedied all but a handful of the cited 19 deficiencies since the July testing. In his letter, Dougherty said the company is trying to add a “few outstanding issues.”