RD346 - Statewide Agencies Radio System (STARS): Annual Report of Anticipated Expenditures for Equipment Replacement – October 2017

Executive Summary:

Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, State Police Superintendent and Mr. Mark Moon, Vice President and General Manager of Motorola signed a $329 million contract between Motorola and the Commonwealth of Virginia for the design, construction, and implementation of the Statewide Agencies Radio System (STARS) on July 13, 2004. Effective July 1, 2011, The Virginia State Police Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Division - Communications Section assumed responsibility for the engineering, installation, maintenance, and operation of the STARS Network. The STARS Network includes the backbone microwave network, the land mobile radio network, the five (5) Tidewater tunnels and two (2) Western tunnels, and all vehicle-based hardware and software for all participating State Agencies. Subsequent to this milestone one locality has joined the network.

The STARS Network provides a multi-channel trunked digital voice and data wireless communications capability specifically designed to meet APCO Project 25 public safety requirements. The core microwave network consists of Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) ring-protected transmission paths providing the highest quality of service and reliability possible with security through controlled system access.

Maintaining technology today is a labor intensive and costly proposition. Hardware and software is typically obsolete by the time it is purchased and installed and the STARS Network is no exception. The annual lifecycle cost to keep the core Motorola portion of the network current is over $1M annually. This does not include the hardware and software upgrades necessary to keep the transport network at top operating efficiency. In addition, much of the support hardware including microwave radios, power subsystems, and multiplexing equipment is at or beyond end-of-life. While all new sites under construction are being equipped with the latest hardware and software there is much work to be accomplished.

This document provides a detailed report of anticipated expenditures for equipment replacement from FY2018 through FY2024. The timing of all upgrades and/or equipment replacements is dependent on availability of funding. This document should provide guidance to the Governor’s Office, Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, the Secretary of Finance, the Secretary of Information Technology, the Director of the Department of Planning and Budget, the STARS Management Group, and the Chairmen of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees sufficient detail to enable the joint effort necessary to maintain the highest quality of service, security, and reliability possible for the STARS Network.

The following narrative discusses the major subsystems of the STARS network and identifies the lifecycle cost of individual components. This narrative is followed by a detailed schedule by fiscal year of the annual and one-time expenditures planned.