The Wisconsin Public Safety Broadband (WiPSB) program was established to help determine Wisconsin’s requirements for the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) and prepare the State to consult with FirstNet. The program is under the direction of the State Single Point of Contact (SPOC) within the Wisconsin Department of Justice. In 2012, the Governor designated the Interoperability Council (IC) as Wisconsin’s coordinator for the NPSBN and to serve as the point of contact for consultation with FirstNet. The IC has subsequently identified the SPOC to act as the program lead on behalf of the council. In his position at DOJ, Dennis Fortunato serves as the FirstNet SPOC and member of the IC. The DOJ Interoperability Unit is tasked with managing the WiPSB program and also provides staff support to the IC and Subcommittees for all interoperability issues, including the NPSBN Subcommittee.WiPSB’s priority is to ensure that FirstNet produces a network that meets the needs and expectations of Wisconsin’s public safety community. In order to identify assets, locate problematic coverage areas and model a sustainable plan, the WiPSB Project Team will be engaging Wisconsin’s public safety stakeholders to provide requirements specific to your agencies. These requirements will be relayed to FirstNet for use in the development of Wisconsin’s State Plan and the construction of the network within the State.

User Population Survey

The web-based User Population Survey was designed to provide key data about your device and network use and requirements that included:  
  • Number of public safety personnel 
  • Number of wireless broadband devices
  • Application usage
  • Information about wireless purchasing
  • Barriers to network adoption
These surveys were distributed by email to points of contact (POCs) from every Wisconsin public safety entity (PSE) for whom we had a valid email address.   Check out our findings in the publications section.

Coverage Reviews

CAD Data
To support the development of stakeholder coverage requirements, the WiPSB project team requested three years of CAD incident data to provide an objective justification for the needs identified. This incident data was processed to produce a heatmap and overlayed on FirstNet’s baseline coverage objectives.
Coverage Review Meetings
The interactive Coverage Review Meetings engaged over 200 first responders from counties, cities, tribes, and State agencies to provide first-hand information about the needs within their jurisdictions. County by county, the WiPSB project team identified “Critical Service Areas” (coverage requirements, areas of high-priority) and “Extended Service Areas” (existing coverage deficiencies) in order to develop a statewide map for FirstNet’s consideration when developing Wisconsin’s State Plan. The interactive map can be found below. Meetings began with individual counties in August 2016 and were completed in November 2016. If you have any questions regarding your coverage review results, please feel free to contact the WiPSB project team to discuss.

Interactive Map

The WiPSB program performed a comprehensive, county-by-county coverage review process in the latter half of 2016 to determine stakeholder needs for FirstNet. These coverage reviews allowed each stakeholder county in the state to articulate their coverage needs in a manner that they can take ownership of and stand behind when evaluating whether to adopt FirstNet’s service. These coverage reviews formed the basis of our initial suggested phased rollout plan. 
The map contains six different layers: CAD Incidents: A heatmap rendering the frequency of incidents in half square-mile bins (note: CAD data is only available from 33 counties and the State Patrol). Coverage Phase 1: Includes interstates and FirstNet-designated urban areas. Coverage Phase 2: Includes county-specified Critical Service Areas (CSAs) and major oil transportation routes (both by rail and pipeline). Coverage Phase 3: Includes county-specified Extended Service Areas (ESAs), or areas where coverage review participants reported service issues with their current carrier. Coverage Phase 4: Includes remaining seasonal and tourist areas not otherwise specified as CSAs or ESAs. Coverage Phase 5: Includes all remaining inhabited areas of the state by census block.