Dust settles, Com-Net Ericsson gets Florida
After a lengthy procurement process that involved litigation and disclosure laws, Com-Net Ericsson Critical Radio Systems signed a contract with the state of Florida on Sep. 28 to complete the state’s public safety system that Motorola started more than 10 years ago.
The agreement calls for the system to be completed within 36 months at a price that is expected to save the taxpayers of Florida as much as $859 million, based on build-out estimates presented to the state legislature in 1997 by the Department of Management Services.
The system will provide Florida with the first statewide dedicated data network, annual technology upgrades, a mobile radio disaster relief site and $40 million in new users radios.
Com-Net will complete the construction of the system and assume ownership responsibility and obligations. The state will receive a percentage of any revenue collected from third parties wishing to join the system, a percentage of any salvage proceeds from the sale of existing equipment; and a percentage of third party revenues from the rental of tower space. Com-Net will make all capital expenditures necessary to expand the system to accomodate third party users and to enhance towers to allow for additional tenants.
The uncompleted Motorola system, which consisted of Phases I and II and covered portions of southern Florida, will be completely dismantled.
Motorola, which had sued Florida, alleging that the state had violated its Sunshine Law by holding closed meetings during the competitive procurement process for the completion of the system, issued a statement responding to the announcement that Com-Net had won the bid.
“We are disappointed that the state of Florida has chosen to sign a contract with Com-Net, the terms of and services of which indicate the contract is not in the best interests of Florida, its residents and its visitors,” a company press release stated.
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