Members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 9-1 to approve agreements with Motorola Solutions that allow the vendor giant to deploy an LTE network in the city as part of a regional network for the entire Bay Area.

Under the terms of the deal, Motorola Solutions will build, own, operate and maintain the LTE system — known as BayWEB — for 12 years, then turn over the network to the Bay Area Regional Interoperable Communications System (BayRICS) Authority. Having San Francisco first responders use this proposed private network is a better option than having them use commercial wireless networks, which typically face capacity constraints during emergencies, said Supervisor Carmen Chu.

“The truth of the matter is that what we would be getting is something that would be better than what we currently have,” Chu said during the meeting, which was webcast. “We currently … purchase data service from commercial vendors. It is not a dedicated system. It is not a system that we would be able to access first, if there were an emergency.

“This is going to be a dedicated system that is unique to public-service and public-safety entities, and it is also one that is regionally connected.”

Motorola Solutions received a federal stimulus grant worth $50.6 million to build the regional LTE network, and the company will provide an additional $45 million in matching and site-remediation funds.

“The positive vote on BayWEB by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors paves the way for Motorola Solutions to advance the successful implementation of a 700 MHz LTE network, providing true interoperable communications for Bay Area first responders,” said Debora Courtright, Motorola’s vice president of North America government markets. “This is a key moment for BayWEB, and Motorola commends San Francisco for its foresight, hard work and dedication in taking this significant step forward.

“Motorola believes BayWEB will be a long-term benefit to Bay Area public safety, and we are committed to working with the city and all our partners to deploy this state-of-the-art broadband network in a timely manner.”

Supervisor Jane Kim was the only member of the board who voted against the item, but at least two other board members — President David Chiu and Supervisor John Avalos — expressed concern about the lack of planning and financial certainty associated with the project.

“This is a very difficult decision for me,” Chiu said. “A number of us feel that, if we end up supporting this, we are holding our noses a little bit without knowing much more information and without a clear picture of what’s happening in the future.”