UPDATE The Florida Department of Management (DMS) and L3Harris announced last week they have signed a 15-year contract for the deployment of the Statewide Law Enforcement Radio System (SLERS), according to RadioResource. The SLER is a single, unified digital radio network that meets the radio voice communications needs of state law enforcement officers and other participating agencies throughout the state. Over $110 million will be allocated for the upgrades to the state’s current EDACS system with another $80.45 million to be spread out for deployment over four regions. The cost for preliminary design and mobilization of the system was placed at $25 million.
Project milestones will have to be met to achieve the full $111 million payout, although those benchmarks were redacted in the publically issued contract. All systems and subsystems are required to adhere to P25 Phase 2 standards while supporting interoperability between P25 Phases 1 and 2 devices. P25 Phase 2 is a land mobile radio standard developed by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) TR8 subcommittee to meet requirements to develop a mission critical land mobile radio standard that uses the RF spectrum more efficiently. Phase 2 is more spectrally efficient than Phase 1, providing two effective channels per 12.5 kilohertz bandwidth. In P25 Phase 2, each physical base station provides two effective voice channels. A smartphone/broadband device integration (SPBBI) subsystem will be used with the rest of the SLERS 2 network.
Earlier this year, Inside Towers reported that Motorola and Verizon cautioned Florida Governor Ron DeSantis that the agreement with the incumbent service provider, AT&T, would be bad for the state and a disservice to taxpayers and first responders.
Motorola Solutions Chairman and CEO Greg Brown sent a letter to the Governor stating: “Motorola Solutions asks that you again make the right decision for your citizens by vetoing specific line items in the FY 21-22 budget that gift a massive, long-term contract for the Statewide Law Enforcement Radio System (SLERS) to the incumbent vendor without a competitive procurement process and without any analysis of whether it is the best system for Florida’s first responders.”
Brown said first responders would be required to buy all new equipment instead of replacing equipment over time, and continually incorporating better technology.
The state legislature, without opening the process up to competitive bidding, finally awarded the contract to L3Harris, saying public safety took precedence in expediting the need for critical communications. The contract stipulates the state will take over ownership of L3Harris’ towers and other network assets, according to Radio Resources.