London Underground (LU) has invited technology suppliers to discussions aimed at helping it understand how to develop a communications infrastructure for its next generation of tube railway systems. The organisation says it wants to talk about trends and innovation, particularly in communications and networking technology, such …
Strike 2 and still out
The backbone of the London Underground communications infrastructure was a project called CONNECT. It was let in about 1996 to be finished in 2003 and is still incomplete. Ir was to cover both the extended radio network required by the 1987 Kind Cross Recommendation and the need for a digital backbone to carry all its communications services until 2020-ish. It was another PFI which was subject to the usual massive changes in specification, and delays brought about by the inability to allow the contractors access to the sites to undertake work.
Note that the TETRA infrastructure system in the Underground is still incomplete on two major line (Northern and Central I believe), and does not support the police, fire and emergency services ubiquitously as envisaged.
No National Audit Office report has been carried out, as to why nearly 10 years after its original completion date, it still is not. The person who signed the contract at London Underground is not a Peer of the realm.
Personally I wouldn't waste my time wit them anymore - if they want to buy kit, fair enough but the minute they get into design, we are back to a customised design which ignores the already working systems elsewhere in the word. Thats one way to keep TfL staff in a job !
Start with not getting locked into restrictive contracts for the communications infrastructure so that your MAN doesn't run at <512kbps and cost more than an EFM per circuit!
Good place to start
Read the RISKS digest. Learn what pitfalls to avoid. Apropos pitfalls, don't do a government and ask the greasy salesmen to help themselves and lock open your wallet. Find, then hire, a systems architect. Have that person work out where to go and only then see how to fill in the blanks.
Your critical infrastructure vision shouldn't be tech-vendor driven.
Something to Bob Crow About
How long before Bob Crow states that this is putting public safety at risk, and putting RMT jobs on the line in the greedy corporate quest for profits?
No need to worry about an SLA.....
Oh well, at least the lucky supplier(s) who win the contract won't need to worry about an SLA.
Server cluster just failed causing untold misery to end-users ? No worries... just send out a round-robin announcement saying "a good service is currently being provided from all servers". ;-)
Run fibre everywhere across that London's tunnels and sub-let it as infrastructure to businesses in Lundin, should pay for itself.
resiliance and reliability
starts with adding extra lines.
There's a reason why New York runs 4 lines between each station - that way they can shut one down for maintenance without interrupting service.
"Oh, but it will cost 2 billion pounds" - and how much did Heathrow T5 cost? (Hint, more than that, with less monetary turnover involved)
Where Is IT?
Anyhow - where is the tender document or the OJEU Number then?
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