The Regional Wireless Cooperative
In 2008, to meet the expanding needs
of public safety and its support functions across the Phoenix
metropolitan region, the Regional Wireless Cooperative (RWC) was
formed. The RWC oversees the administration, operation,
management, maintenance and growth of this state-of-the-art
regional public safety communications network.
The RWC is a cooperative body formed
under a series of Intergovernmental Agreements. Membership is open
to all local, county, state, federal and tribal governmental
entities. The RWC currently includes 20 cities, towns, fire
districts, and government agencies located in the Phoenix metropolitan region. Governance
establishes a Board of Directors consisting of one executive
representative from each Member entity. The Board directs the
operation, maintenance, planning, design, implementation, and
financing of the RWC.
The City of Phoenix serves as the
"Administrative Managing Member," responsible for the
administration and financial management of the RWC. Four
administrative staff positions support the RWC: The Executive
Director, an Accountant III, Management Assistant I, and
Administrative Aide. The RWC resides within Government Relations
in the City Manager’s Office.
The RWC is a large, public safety
radio network based on the Project 25, Phase I standard (Phase II
coming soon). The network is a Motorola ASTRO 25™ digital trunked
radio system. It operates in the 700 MHz frequency band and
consists of eight (8) major simulcast subsystems and ten (10)
Astro Site Repeaters (ASRs). The system provides over 8,000 square
miles of coverage across the entire region and beyond. The system
serves 20,000 member users and another 20,000+ users from
interoperability partners (Local, State and Federal agencies).
Some of the benefits of this large
regional radio system include wide area coverage beyond what
cities could achieve individually, seamless interoperability,
shared resources, such as people, equipment and tower sites, and
funding and financial responsibilities shared by all Members based
on their relative size and number of radios on the system.
In 2019 the RWC also assumed
responsibility for the existing VHF (“conventional”) radio system,
which was previously managed by the Phoenix Fire Department. This
system is used by all Metro Phoenix Fire Departments for
hazard-zone (Fires, Hazmat, etc…) communications.