Meeting Minutes

Region 19 700MHz Committee


Tuesday, December 11, 2012


New Hampshire Department of Safety

33 Hazen Dr

Concord, NH 03305



Mr. Jerry Zarwanski chaired the meeting.  The meeting started at 10:00AM.  An agenda was emailed to all committee members and copies were available for those attending the meeting.  Several members called in on the telephone conference bridge.


First item on the agenda:  Approval of Minutes


A copy of the minutes from the last meeting was available.  A motion was raised to approve the minutes. The minutes were approved by Mr. Michael Manning and seconded by Mr. Stephen Verbil.


Second item on the agenda: State Updates


Connecticut: Mr. Verbil identified Phase I of the Public Safety Data Network (PSDN) has been completed. Phase I connects 112 nodes (PSAPs/state facilities) utilizing fiber optics. Phase II of the PSDN is underway. Phase II of the PSDN will extend the network out to an additional 450 sites. The BTOP federal grant requires the PSDN to be completed by September of 2013. Mr. Verbil indicated the PSDN governance committee has convened to discuss network service charges and types of network services offered.


Mr. Verbil reported the PSDN remained operational during Storm Sandy and no connectivity losses were reported by any Connecticut Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs).


Massachusetts: Mr. Blair Sutherland identified the Public Safety Interoperable Communications Grant (PSIC) funds have paid for a number of fiber optic networks and sub networks in the greater Boston area. At this time the fiber has no traffic running on it. The state of Massachusetts is also looking to establish a governance committee.


Mr. Sutherland stated the state is looking into expanding their P25 system in Western Massachusetts and is in the process of starting a 700MHz overlay project in Metro Boston.


New Hampshire:  Mr. James Kowalik reported the state of New Hampshire’s BTOP SafeNet program is underway. SafeNet is an IP Microwave and Fiber Optic network with a ring topology. Two thirds of the network has been completed and is in compliance with the BTOP grant. Mr. Kowalik stated SafeNet is slated for completion by June 30, 2013.


Rhode Island:  Mr. Norm Boucher reported the state has resolved some of the installation issues Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) was having with a portion of the High Performance Data (HPD) system. RIPTA’s vendor has resolved those particular system issues and that portion of the project is operational.  


Maine: Mr. Steve Mallory representing the state of Maine stated MS Phonenet is in the process of being implemented.


Vermont:  Michael Manning announced the Vermont Communication (VCOMM) lifeline, Vermont’s statewide interoperability network, is about 95% complete. The state anticipates their four state PSAPs will be switched onto the network in the near future.


Vermont has formed a Public Safety Broadband commission. The board has met several times but is awaiting executive order to start moving forward.


Third item on the agenda:   FCC Update


Mr. Zarwanski stated the FCC required states holding 700MHz “State Licenses” provide or be prepared to provide “substantial service” to one-third of their population or territory by June 13, 2014 and two-third of their population or territory by June 13, 2019. If a state licensee fails to meet any condition of the grant, the state license is modified automatically to the frequencies and geographic areas where the state certifies that it is providing substantial service. The FCC indicated that the recovered “State License” spectrum will revert to 700MHz “General Use” spectrum.


Mr. Zarwanski reported the state of Connecticut is moving forward with building out the “State Licenses”.


Mr. Zarwanski stated a 700MHz State License, Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was distributed to all the northeastern states. The MOU explained the sharing of “State Licenses” with bordering states. The MOU was signed by all the New England states but Maine and New Hampshire. Mr. Kowalik representing the state of New Hampshire, identified he would look into the status of the MOU. 


The committee was provided documentation on First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). Mr. Zarwanski summarized the documentation for the committee. Mr. Zarwanski stated the FirstNet board members have been identified and have had their first meeting. Mr. Paul Leary informed the committee the board has been visiting each of the early build sites to determine how to leverage the sites towards the network.


He also stated the Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) has been appointed. 





Fourth item on the agenda: Application Engineering


Mr. Zarwanski stated the committee needs to identify a new software program for reviewing Region 19 700/800MHz applications. He requested suggestions from the committee members. Mr. Kowalik suggested the committee transition to a new software program over the course of a year. Mr. Zarwanski stated he wants applicants to provide a spreadsheet identifying specific site parameters. Applicants would be required to submit their spreadsheet in accordance with the Spectrum E upload format. Mr. Scott Wright a Region 19 technical subcommittee member expressed his concerns with utilizing Spectrum E. Mr. Wright stated he does not currently have access to Spectrum E software and believes his agency (Connecticut State Police) will not provide the funding to purchase the software.


Mr. Kowalik motioned to have the Region 19 committee recommend a software transition plan. The plan would be implemented during Region 19 Window 17, May of 2013. The transition plan would require applicants to provide formatted spreadsheets enabling a Spectrum E upload. Mr. Verbil seconded the motion. Twelve voting committee members approved the motion and 2 oppositions. Mr. David Chase requested the spreadsheet template be placed on the New England Region 19 website.


Fifth item on the agenda: Region 19 Plan/Applications


Mr. Zarwanski informed the committee he received five applications from the Connecticut State Police. The Region 19 committee members were mailed cd copies of the applications approximately three weeks ago.


The present committee members reviewed the 5 applications for completeness. The 5 Connecticut State applications were considered complete by the present committee members. Mr. Zarwanski indicated that employees of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP), Connecticut should not be involved in the technical review of the Connecticut State Police applications, due to a conflict of interest. He requested volunteers from the technical committee members not affiliated with the DESPP, to review the technical portion of the application. Mr. Kowalik, Mr. Stephen Brown and Mr. George Carbonell volunteered to review the 5 Connecticut State Police applications. Mr. Zarwanski requested the review results be provided to him by January 15, 2013.


Mr. Zarwanski informed the committee the Region 19 700MHz Plan does not address the build out of 7 TAC and 7 CAL channels. Mr. Zarwanski requested the present committee members input on how the 7 TAC and 7 CAL channels should be built out in the future. The discussion was tabled for a future meeting.




Sixth item on the agenda: APCO Atlantic Chapter Conference


Mr. Zarwanski reported APCO Atlantic Chapter held its conference October 1, 2 and 3 in Stamford, CT. The local APCO Frequency Advisors (Mr. Joseph Yurman, Mr. Kowalik, Mr. John Masciadrelli and Mr. Jerry Zarwanski) were furnished with a booth in which to provide technical assistance to attendees.  The next APCO Atlantic Chapter meeting will be held in October 2013 at a location to be determined in Hyannis, Massachusetts.


Seventh item on the agenda: Region 8 and 30 700MHz Applications


Mr. Zarwanski announced Suffolk County New York is the only remaining application in Region 8’s Window One submission period. The application has been denied concurrence by Region 19 three times for inconsistencies between their FCC 601 Form and their CAPRAD submitted application. 


The Region 8 Window 3, Westchester County application remains on hold until further technical studies can be performed by the Connecticut State Police.


Mr. Zarwanski stated Region 8 has requested interregional concurrence for Monmouth County, NJ; Rockland County, NY; Somerset County, NJ and Middlesex County, NJ. The Region 8 applications were submitted in Window’s 4, 5 and 6. Monmouth County requested their application review process be expedited, enabling them to apply for an FCC STA. The STA will enable them to operate in storm damaged areas. Monmouth County application review process was expedited and the application was granted interregional concurrence. The Somerset County, NJ and Rockland County, NY applications were reviewed by the technical subcommittee. The technical subcommittee recommended the Region 19 committee grant interregional concurrence. Mr. Sutherland made a motion requesting Monmouth County provide in writing, if an interference issue arises with an incumbent they will resolve the issue. Mr. Verbil seconded the motion. The committee voted to pass the motion unanimously.


Mr. Zarwanski provided the meeting attendees with a Federal Communications Commission document titled “Implementing a nationwide, Broadband, Interoperable Public Safety Network in the 700MHz Band”, Fifth Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Steve Merrill from SCM Wireless submitted comments and recommendations to the FCC in regards to the Fifth Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.


Ninth item on the agenda: New Business


Region 19 2013 meeting dates were provided to meeting attendees. With no further comments or business, Mr. Carbonell motioned for adjournment.  Mr. Steven Brown seconded the motion.  The next meeting will be held at the Massachusetts State Police General Headquarters, 470 Worcester Road, Framingham, Massachusetts on March 12, 2013.


All present agreed to adjourn at 11:45A.M.