About the BayRICS Authority
For more information about BayRICS, please contact:
Barry Fraser, General Manager
4985 Broder Blvd
Dublin, CA 94568
What Is BayRICS?
The Bay Area Regional Interoperable Communications System Joint Powers Authority (BayRICS) was established in August 2011 to oversee public safety communications projects in the San Francisco Bay Area. Members of BayRICS include the State of California, City and County of San Francisco, City of Oakland, City of San Jose, Counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma, and “hub” cities in the East Bay and South Bay. Each member jurisdiction has appointed a representative to the BayRICS Board of Directors.
BayRICS coordinates the build-out and operation of wireless voice and data networks that will serve over 25,000 first responders to protect the life and property of 7.5 million Bay Area residents and 16 million visitors annually.
What Is FirstNet and CalFRN?
In 2012, Congress created the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) within the Department of Commerce. FirstNet is charged with creating a nationwide wireless broadband network for public safety. Public safety groups had pressed for this legislation for several years in response to the 9/11 tragedy and subsequent reports that identified the critical need for a nationwide, interoperable broadband network for first responders.
FirstNet will work directly with the states to plan and build the nationwide network in each state. In California, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) will lead the planning and consultation effort with FirstNet. Cal OES recently established the California First Responder Network (CalFRN), which will provide oversight and coordination for FirstNet planning in the State.
Public Safety Broadband in the Bay Area
BayRICS is working to build a regional data communications network that would put "smart phone" technology in the hands of police, fire, and other public safety agencies. It would enable first responders to share text, pictures, real-time video and other mobile "apps" designed for public safety. As a separate network dedicated to public safety, it would be more secure and less prone to failure during a disaster than today's commercial networks.
BayRICS initially partnered with the private sector to build an independent public safety broadband network for Bay Area first responders. The subsequent creation of FirstNet ended the regional project (known as BayWEB) before it was completed. However, extensive work on BayWEB has laid the groundwork for implementing the FirstNet network in the Bay Area. We have created a successful regional governance model, secured local site and infrastructure assets, developed coverage and local management plans, and generated the political support to quickly and efficiently build the network.
BayRICS believes that this groundwork will not only provide best practices and lessons learned to support FirstNet planning in California, but can also be used as a launching pad for FirstNet build-out in the State.
FirstNet First in the Bay Area
California can leverage the Bay Area’s accomplishments, by quickly completing the Bay Area network as a partnership between California, FirstNet and BayRICS. Building FirstNet first in the Bay Area would provide a proof of concept for State-wide technical and business models and demonstrate innovation in state-local partnerships. For California, it could serve as a real-world showcase for these new tools for public safety leaders throughout the State. Everyone would benefit from the network as a test bed for cutting edge public safety services and applications development, drawing on the high-tech communities anchored by Silicon Valley.
Quickly completing FirstNet first in the Bay Area would help us preserve the early work accomplished in the Bay Area, reengage public safety stakeholders and score early wins for California and FirstNet to bolster the nationwide