01:43 PM

NYC Renews Northrop Wireless Contract For $207 Million

Contractor will support citywide broadband wireless network for public safety and other operations for another five years.

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Northrop Grumman will continue to operate and maintain a citywide wireless network for New York City through a $207 million contract renewal awarded Friday.

The Virginia-based contractor will provide ongoing operations and maintenance over another five years for the New York City Wireless Network (NYCWIN) program, which provides a secure broadband wireless network for the city's public safety and first responders. New York's Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications awarded Northrop the contract to build the private network in 2006, and NYCWIN went operational across the city in 2009.

NYCWIN covers New York's more than 300 square miles and all five boroughs, and includes more than 50 customized applications to provide real-time information to public-safety responders in the field for sharing and monitoring. In addition to round-the-clock support for the network, Northrop also will provide integration services and new mobile applications for the network, the company said.

During emergencies, the network allows for wireless video so personnel in the field and city command centers can share information in real time. It also allows public safety officers in the field to check mug shots and fingerprints and access building and site data, according to Northrop.

New York also is leveraging NYCWIN to convert its more than 12,000 traffic signals to wireless to improve traffic management, according to Northrop.

Under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York is emerging as one of the most technology-savvy U.S. cities through a number of initiatives that leverage contemporary technologies to improve its engagement with the public and the city's own internal IT operations.

The city also has stepped up its efforts in recent years--particularly in the wake of 9/11--to ensure that its public safety and first responder teams can communicate more effectively. City officials were criticized harshly following the terrorist attacks because various response teams could not communicate with one another due to disparate networks.

Under another broad public-safety response initiative, New York is one of the first cities to support the Federal Communications Commission's Personal Localized Alerting Network, or PLAN, a free, geographically specific service to provide alerts of potentially hazardous situations to mobile devices. Along with Washington, New York is expected to have the service by the end of the year.

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