Boeing picked for SBINet

Homeland Security border initiative will feature 1,800 towers on Mexican, Canadian borders to detect and track crossings.

Homeland Security has made its choice for the Secure Border Initiative, after months of frenzied lobbying by defense contractors. The winner is Boeing, Federal Computer Week reports.

The SBINet contract is worth $2.5 billion. Boeing’s winning proposal calls for the installation of 1,800 towers along the northern and southern borders within three years. The network of towers will detect and track intruders through the use of cameras, sensors and motion detectors.

DHS wants to integrate state-of-the-art systems with traditional security infrastructures to give the Customs and Border Protection division “a single comprehensive border security suite.” DHS issued a request for proposals for SBINet in April, and since then, the five contractors had been in a marathon to win the major contract.

But the days of bottomless funding are over, Congress has warned the department.

Rep. Harold Rogers (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee’s Homeland Security Subcommittee, has said Congress might seek to withhold funds if SBINet does not live up to expectations. He said border security funding has quadrupled to nearly $18 billion since 1995.

DHS’ border and transportation security funding request for fiscal 2007 is $20.2 billion, or 35 percent of the department’s overall request of $58.2 billion.