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New York CTO to statewide wireless network: Drop dead

After years of delays and numerous technological snags, New York Gov. David A.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor

After years of delays and numerous technological snags, New York Gov. David A. Paterson's administration has canceled a $2.1 billion contract to build a statewide wireless network for emergency workers.

Needless to say, few New Yorkers are surprised after similar efforts in other cities were curtailed even before the current economic downturn.

Melanie Mayberry-Stewart, the state's chief technological officer, indicated the decision with a letter sent yesterday to the president and lead legal counsel for M/A-COM, the subsidiary of Tyco Electronics that was chosen in 2005 to build the network, according to the New York Times.

The wireless network was intended to link first responders across the state.

According to the Times, the letter included a 10-page summary of deficiencies that M/A-COM did not address. The decision comes after months of growing tension between New York state and M/A-COM, which had missed several deadlines to repair its network in two counties upstate.

The network has already cost New York more than $50 million, and comes when the state is facing a fiscal crisis. According to the letter, the state wants to recover those funds -- so expect a legal battle.

(Ed's note: This article originally had the headline "New York CTO to statewide Wi-Fi: Drop dead." That was incorrect, as this wireless network pertains to radios, not computers. I regret the error.)

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