The 800 MHz Countywide Coordinated Communications System (CCCS) is Orange County's state-of-the-art analog/digital trunked public safety radio communications system. This system provides radio communications services to city and County law enforcement, fire services, public works and lifeguard/marine safety departments in Orange County. The 800 MHz CCCS also allows for interoperability among the various disciplines.
The previous law enforcement communications system was put in service in 1973 and was outdated and overloaded. A conceptual plan was developed in 1987 to modernize this communications system. Thereafter, a Steering Committee was formed to oversee the 800 MHz system implementation; a Negotiating Committee to negotiate a contract; a Governance Task Force to develop an operational plan for the ongoing oversight of the 800 MHz system; a Technical Liaison Committee of agency operational personnel to oversee the system design; and, a Finance Committee to determine financing options. On September 19, 1995, the Orange County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to execute a contract with Motorola for the acquisition and implementation of the new 800 MHz CCCS, to begin February 2, 1996. The first transmitter was activated on one of the new channels in October 1995. In April 1999, Public Facilities and Resources Department/Facilities Operations became the first user on the new system. All of the fire service departments in Orange County were cut over and operational by the end of January 2000, and law enforcement implementation began in March 2000. In November 2001, the County of Orange completed the 800 MHz CCCS implementation on behalf of the 100 County/City/OCFA public safety and public works operations in Orange County.
It was soon discovered that our public safety system was receiving interference from cellular telephone sites, e.g., as users attempted to use 800 MHz radios near those sites, they experienced interference during transmissions. This problem was identified as a nationwide problem. In response to this problem, Nextel worked with public safety agencies and organizations across the country to propose a plan to the FCC whereby cellular and public safety organizations would move to different frequencies that are isolated from each other, thereby reducing interference. This plan, which is now called the FCC Rebanding Plan, involves the transition of 800 MHz public safety users to alternate frequencies at the expense of Nextel. Orange County's 800 MHz CCCS has been included in the fourth wave of the FCC Rebanding Project. Implementation of the FCC Rebanding Plan in Orange County will likely require the reprogramming of 16,000 radios on at least two different occasions.