In 2005, Pierce County led a study to address the Federal Narrowband mandate that would go into affect in 2012, and what the impacts would be to Pierce County communications systems and its customer agencies. The study drove out five different recommendations; narrowband, implement a new VHF system, build its own 700 MHz system, merge and expand with Pierce Transit 700 MHz system, or merge with and expand the City of Tacoma 800 MHz system. Due to the lack of 800 MHz spectrum, Pierce County Executive and Legislative Branch determined to partner with Pierce Transit and expand their 700 MHz system.
In 2008, Pierce Transit built the first Puget Sound Next Generation P-25 Phase 1 FDMA Voice and Data network in the region, investing over 35 million.
In 2010, Pierce County entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Pierce Transit to:
- Assure that the Pierce County residents in need of help have their immediate needs met and receive cost efficient services from both public safety and public transportation services.
- Create, deliver and maintain a high quality communication system for the region to deliver next generation communications for public safety and public transportation.
- Support a single county wide communication system (SCWCS) in the Pierce County region for the purpose of improving effectiveness, efficiency, and overall service delivery, thereby avoiding duplication of networks and supporting services.
In 2011, Pierce Transit and Pierce County completed an Interlocal Agreement, the first step toward establishing the Combined Communication Network (CCN) Enterprise Joint Venture and basis to:
- Design, develop, finance, acquire, install, operate maintain, repair, and replace as necessary a uniform high quality, public safety and public transportation communication system.
- Share a single county wide communication system’s microwave, mobile radios, data radios, communication sites, towers, etc. to reduce costs and provide a Lean approach toward an integrated public safety and public transportation communication network.
- Meet FCC Narrowband requirements, NIMS compliance, and certified design requirements including redundant and resilient capabilities with 99.999% system reliability.
Also in 2011, Pierce Transit and Pierce County completed Phase I of the SCWCS upgrading the P-25 700 MHz Motorola System from version 7.2 to 7.7.
In 2012, Pierce Transit and Pierce County sourced funding from grants, Pierce County, Pierce Transit and South Sound 911 (SS911) to implement a P-25 Phase II TDMA 700 MHz system.
In 2013-2015 Pierce Transit funded over $8 million for TDMA subscribers which increased SCWCS capacity to allow access for SS911 agencies and future customers to drive down costs for everyone.
In 2014, Pierce Transit and Pierce County invested over $2 Million to upgrade and provide improved microwave loop protection and capacity for the SCWCS backhaul network. SS-911 funded a 4-channel 3-site VHF 410 corridor system, and in 2017 a 4-channel 11-site VHF overlay network for station alerting, paging, and mutual aid.
In 2015, Pierce Transit Board and Pierce County Counsel voted unanimously to approve a Cooperative Governance Agreement (CGA) establishing the Joint Venture partnership known as the CCN.