Most local emergency responders communicate with responders from neighboring communities by programming their public safety radios with a small number of shared “mutual aid” channels. This approach works well for routine incidents but it doesn't support emergency communications between agencies outside these established networks, resulting in communication failures when coordination is especially critical and time is of the essence
The Wisconsin Interoperable System for Communications (WISCOM) is a shared system that first responders in communities across the state will use to communicate during a major disaster or large-scale incident. WISCOM will support up to four simultaneous conversation paths during an incident, dramatically increasing the current capacity available with statewide mutual aid channels and allowing responders from any area of the state to assist another community without losing communication capabilities.
WISCOM System Service page
The WISCOM backbone of 80 core sites is under construction. When the first phase of the build-out is completed in late 2011, approximately 70 sites will be operational and providing coverage throughout Wisconsin.
WISCOM is being built to a 95/95 mobile coverage standard from the core sites which means when completed, it will cover 95% of the state 95% of the time when using a 50-watt mobile radio. There will be portable radio coverage in many areas of the state as well.
There also the provision for local enhancement sites constructed by some of the daily users that will further enhance local coverage in those areas to meet their needs.
The coverage maps below show anticipated mobile and portable radio coverage from the core sites throughout the state. The active site map shows approximately where the core sites are located and when they are anticipated to be operational.
- Leverages existing radio towers and other infrastructure, resulting in less initial cost.
- Does not use proprietary technology - it will be flexible - working with the wide variety of local systems currently operating in the state.
- Shares a statewide infrastructure that will result in long-term cost-savings for everyone. Communities are already spending millions of dollars on systems that do not allow interoperability. As communities replace their aging local systems, they will be able to leverage the state backbone, sharing infrastructure costs and avoiding costly duplication of equipment. Communities can then build out additional local coverage and capacity to meet their needs when they are ready.
- Will be managed by the Statewide System Management Group (SSMG) - including public safety executives from federal, tribal, state, county and local law enforcement, fire, EMS and emergency management disciplines - ensuring that the WISCOM project has input from a variety of potential users and meets the needs of the entire public safety community.
- Is supported by the Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Association and the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association.
Early Adopter Program
Approved at the SSMG Meeting of June 23, 2011
The Early Adopter Program provides for no agency contributions to existing WISCOM network maintenance charges through June 30, 2015. After this date, a fee that apportions usage among the other daily users will be established by the Statewide System Management Group.
This contribution waiver exists only if the agency can be accommodated within the available capacity of the WISCOM network and that no infrastructure at WISCOM expense, would be added to provide for the agency Level 3 and 5 usage.
This program waives Level 3 and 5 user fees until June 30, 2015.
The Early Adopter Program is open to First Responders from state and local units of government and private entities with agreements and or contracts defining a first response duty.
As part of the SSMG’s operational oversight of WISCOM, they have mandated end user training for any person who will be using the system. OJA has developed the following material, which is meant to serve as basic awareness training for WISCOM and how the system works. This training module covers what WISCOM is, how WISCOM works and WISCOM policy.
The training module is comprised of a 15 minute video and a Train-the-trainer powerpoint which is designed with the end user in mind. The material is available here so any agency may access it and train their instructors, who can then deliver the training to the end users. If there is the need for a large train-the-trainer session in a geographic region of the state, the OJA trainer may be able to come to you and help facilitate a session.
When an agency conducts training, it is required that the trainer fills out the roster provided below with the listed trainee information. This form should be downloaded and filled out electronically, then emailed back to OJA upon completion of the training module. All training information is kept on file at OJA and is available to the SSMG upon demand for inspection.
To maintain the same level of training for all users, OJA asks that the provided materials are not altered in any way by an agency. It is recommended and encouraged that an agency provides supplemental training on agency-specific topics like agency talkgroups, usage policy etc.
Send all completed training rosters, along with any questions or requests for training to:
As of April 2012, the following radios have been certified by OJA's engineering consultant for operation on WISCOM.
EF Johnson 5100 series (5100 ES/51SL ES)
Harris P5400 series (Scan or System)
Harris P5500 series (Scan or System)
Harris Unity series (XG75, XG100)
Kenwood TK5210 and TK5220
Motorola XTS series (1500/2500/5000)
Motorola APX portables (APX6000, 7000)
Relm KNG P150
Tait TP9100 series
EF Johnson 5300 series (5300 ES/53SL ES)
Harris M7100 series (Scan or System)
Harris M7300 series (Scan or System)
Harris Unity series (XG75, XG100)
Kenwood TK5710 and TK5720
Motorola XTL series (1500/2500/5000)
Motorola APX mobiles (APX6500, 7500)
Relm KNG M150, B150
Tait TM9100 series
Other radio models may be added after they participate in the subscriber certification process. If your radio is not listed, ask your vendor or service provider when they will submit the radio for certification.
Guidelines for new radio purchases
New radios purchased with grant funds from OJA must meet the following grant standards. Note that some WISCOM eligible models (listed above) do not meet all of the grant standards requirements:
- Compliant with current P25 standards Phase 1
- Equipment must qualify for WISCOM operation through the Subscriber Certification Program.
- Capable of operating on 2 or more digital trunked systems
- Capable of passing the adopted and current P25 “Enhanced VOCODER Methods of Measurement of Performance” specified in (Telecommunications Industry Standard) TIA-102.BABG
- P25 digital trunking enabled
- Provide 512 channel minimum capacity
- Minimum capability of 128 control channels
- Capable of Alphanumeric Display
- 138-174 MHz band spread
- Wideband antenna (139-169 MHz or better)
- Programmed according to Statewide Mutual Aid Frequency Plan within the Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan (available for download on the Interoperability website at interop.wi.gov) with a minimum of 25 narrow banded statewide mutual aid channels.
- Programmed with the appropriate WISCOM talk groups
SSMG County Connection
The Statewide System Management Group (SSMG) that governs WISCOM has authorized a funded county connection program to foster system interoperability with each primary PSAP. The application is due by October 6, 2011.
Download the County Connection application (93K PDF)
Want to subscribe to WISCOM?
Details and relevant documents are on the WISCOM subscription page.
Want to obtain system key and programming information for WISCOM?
Details and relevant documents are on the WISCOM Programming Keys page.
Want P25 Radio ID Plan information? Check the MFCG page.
Having technical problems with WISCOM? Check the WISCOM System Service page.