Wisconsin Interoperable System for Communications (WISCOM)

Justice Programs is operational administrator of the statewide interoperable communications system known as the Wisconsin Interoperable System for Communications (WISCOM). Justice Programs facilitates the shared governance of the system through the representative Statewide System Management Group; assists counties and agencies that wish to use WISCOM for all their daily radio traffic; provides support, training, and technical assistance for WISCOM users; and administers all user fees and contracts that fund the maintenance and operations of the system.

WISCOM allows responders across the state to seamlessly communicate during a major disaster. WISCOM dramatically increases the communications capacity currently provided by conventional mutual aid channels, and saves taxpayer dollars by sharing a common infrastructure.

The shared WISCOM system creates a communications capacity previously non-existent in Wisconsin. It is designed to operate with existing radio systems, and is flexible and open enough to work with the many different local and regional systems currently operating in the state. WISCOM can also be expanded to accommodate more channels, and local agencies may find it cost-effective to discontinue maintaining their local systems and use WISCOM for all of their daily radio traffic.

To achieve WISCOM, the state leveraged 80 existing state-owned communication towers and other infrastructure, and made use of longer-range VHF frequencies, which require fewer tower sites to cover the state. Wisconsin modified existing radio towers owned and maintained by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (the towers facilitate radio communications for the State Patrol) and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources by installing WISCOM equipment on their 80 tower sites as well as other related equipment. OJA contracts with the State Patrol for the technical administration of WISCOM equipment.

Page updated:  12/11/2013