Virtual fenceDHS says it will scrap any virtual border fence tech if it fails

Published 23 February 2012

In an effort to avoid another $1 billion virtual fence fiasco, DHS officials have vowed to scrap any border fence projects early if they are deemed to be a failure

In an effort to avoid another $1 billion virtual fence fiasco, DHS officials have vowedto scrap any border fence projects early if they are deemed to be a failure.

Last year officials ended the SBInet virtual fence project after a year-long review found that the more than $1 billion project was plagued with problems and would not work. Last December, DHS attempted to revive the virtual border fence when it issued a draft request for proposals.

Officials were clear that they only wanted tested technology that was ready for installation and activation immediately. Like the failed SBInet project, officials hope to build a series of towers equipped with cameras and various sensors to automatically detect any illegal activity along the U.S.-Mexico border.

NextGovreports that in DHS’ latest revision of the draft request, issued on 16 February, the agency strongly emphasized that it was only interested in technology that was ready for activation immediately.

In capital letters, the request stated, “First and foremost, [Customs and Border Patrol] is NOT interested in any kind of a system development,” and “CBP will cancel the solicitation rather than procure an ineffective or high-risk offering.”

Unlike SBInet, the new virtual border fence will not be networked. In addition officials hope the new system will be able to function 24/7 inall weather, terrain, vegetation, and lighting conditions.

view counter
view counter