Florida DMS Contract with L3Harris Lays Outs Payments, Details of SLERS-2 Network
Thursday, August 19, 2021 | Comments
L3Harris and the Florida Department of Management (DMS) signed a contract for the deployment of the long-delayed new Statewide Law Enforcement Radio System (SLERS).

L3Harris and the state agreed to a 15-year contract for the new network with the option for renewals beyond that period. The contract allocates $111 million for the upgrade of the system from the state’s current EDACS system to Project 25 (P25). Of that, $25 million will go to preliminary design and mobilization. Another $80.45 million will be spread across the four regions of the deployment. A final $5.5 million will cover the final system acceptance phase.

That $111 million will be paid out as different milestones in the project are reached. The actual milestones are redacted in the public version of the document.

The contract requires that all systems and subsystems deployed for the network conform to P25 Phase 2 standards, but they should also dynamically support communications between combinations of P25 Phases 1 and 2 devices.

Additionally, the contract includes a requirement for a smartphone/broadband device integration (SPBBI) subsystem that will provide integration of broadband devices and smartphones with the rest of the SLERS 2 network.

The system will provide push-to-talk (MCPTT) over private and public Wi-FI, LTE and 5G networks, including the FirstNet network. Under the contract, the SPBBI subsystem must support carrier-integrated PTT over cellular (PoC) systems, over-the-top PTToC operation on carrier networks, and PTT communications on private and public Wi-Fi and other broadband networks.

The state will pay L3Harris $19 million per year for operation, maintenance and support services, amounting to $285 million over the course of the project. Additionally, the state will purchase $54.54 million worth of radios and accessories from L3Harris.

Of that radio expense, $1.595 million will go to accessories, $21 million will go to mobile radios with LTE, $18.74 million will go to portable radios with LTE, $1.93 million go to desktop mobile radios, and $4.3 million will go to mobile radios. Another $6.885 million will cover installation and warranty.

Like the upgrade milestones, the exact quantities and breakdown of those radios are redacted from the contract. The delivery of the new radio equipment is targeted to occur in 2021 and 2022, according to the contract.

The signed contract comes after years of uncertainty on the future of the SLERS network. In 2016, the state first released a procurement seeking a new system. In 2018, the state awarded a contract to build the new system to Motorola Solutions. Harris, which has since merged with L3 Technologies to form L3Harris, protested that award. Harris built and maintains the current SLERS system.

Several courts denied Harris’ protest and recommended that the state award a contract to Motorola. However, in 2020, contract negotiations with Motorola fell apart and the state was left without a new SLERS system. The contract for current system with L3Harris expired in the June.

Earlier this year, the state of Florida released an invitation to negotiate for the future SLERS network in order to begin procurement of a new network. However, the state legislature, in its budget for this year, directed the DMS to award a contract for the new network to L3Harris without a competitive procurement, citing the need to ensure critical communications for public-safety personnel.

During L3Harris’ protests in court, one issue that came up was the ownership of towers. In those proceedings, L3Harris said that towers it owned that were part of the original SLERS could not be used by Motorola for the new network. The new contract takes steps to ensure state ownership of the towers and other assets of the network.

By either July 1, 2026 or final acceptance of the upgraded radio network — whichever is earlier — the contract requires L3Harris to convey towers, as well as he network itself to the state.

In its statement of work attached to the contract, L3Harris said it will continue to operate the current EDACS network while building out the new SLERS network until the new network is operational.

“The goal of the P25 upgrade plan is to keep the EDACS-EA system operational while users in each region are transitioned to the upgraded P25 system within that region,” the statement of work said. “During the transition, a link will be established via the VIDA IP Gateway to allow communications between users of both SLERS-2 and the EDACS-EA system.

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