M/A-COM says New York network fixes almost done
Officials for Tyco Electronics M/A-COM last week told New York’s statewide wireless network (SWN) advisory council that the company has remedied 17 of the 19 deficiencies identified by the state in the first phase of the network, a situation that has put the vendor’s $2 billion contract in jeopardy.
“We are very pleased to report that we have either completed or substantially completed our remediation efforts on all of the 19 items,” M/A-COM President Chuck Dougherty told the advisory council during last Tuesday’s meeting, the webcast of which is available at the SWN web site. “We are confident the system will meet the contractual requirements.”
On Aug. 29, New York CIO Melodie Mayberry-Stewart wrote a letter declaring M/A-COM in default of its contract to build the statewide network, noting that July tests in the first buildout area—Erie County and Chautauqua County—demonstrated the system performance to be “unsatisfactory and unacceptable,” even though M/A-COM had certified the system as ready for testing. The letter noted 19 “significant deficiencies,” and M/A-COM was given a deadline of Oct. 16 to rectify these problems.
Dougherty and John Vaughan—M/A-COM’s senior vice president and CTO—both said the vendor would meet this deadline, as the company had completed its work on 17 of the 19 deficiencies and had substantially completed its work on the other two items. M/A-COM plans to complete its internal testing this week and certify that the network is ready for testing that is scheduled to begin next month.
Of the 19 items cited as deficiencies, M/A-COM officials said the company has made technical fixes on 12 of them. On the other items, the company did not make any technical changes, because the vendor disputes that those items were not included in the contract, M/A-COM spokeswoman Victoria Dillon said.
“It’s a matter of clarifying what our position was on those seven [items],” Dillon said during an interview with Urgent Communications.
At least one member of the state advisory council—Robert Farley, chief counsel for the New York Senate’s homeland security committee was not impressed with the position statements.
“Many of these seem to be less technical responses than arguments as to why … you think there was not a problem,” Farley said. “What we’d like to see is chapter and verse on how you fixed these and how they’re working, rather than your position on that.”
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 M/A-COM, which already has spent more than $50 million on the project and has secured a $100 million performance bond.
The state will conduct a systems integration test—scheduled to begin Nov. 3—that is expected to be completed by Nov. 21. If the M/A-COM system passes that test, an operational test involving first-responder users would be conducted from Dec. 2 through Dec. 18. The state has not established a timetable for making an ultimate “go/no go” decision on the statewide network.