Meeting Minutes

New England Region 19 700 MHz

Technical Advisory Committee Meeting

 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Putney Fire Department

14 Main Street, Putney, Vermont

 

Mr. Jerry Zarwanski of CT chaired the meeting.  The meeting was opened at 10:35 AM due to winter weather conditions.  An agenda and minutes to the previous meeting were emailed to all committee members prior to the meeting and copies were also available for those attending the meeting.

 

Chairman Zarwanski noted that a Quorum of committee members was present for this meeting.  Attendees participating by Conference Bridge:

 

Scott Wright - CT

George Carbonell – CT

Steve Brown – CT

Paul Zito – CT

Joe Del Giudice – RI

Bob Isbee – Region 30

Dave McCarron - ME

 

Agenda Item 1:  Approval of Minutes

 

A copy of the minutes from the last meeting was available to attendees.  Motion to approve the minutes as presented.  Approved by Mr. Steve Brown, seconded by Mr. George Carbonell. Minutes approved by unanimous voice vote.

 

Agenda Item 2: State System Updates

 

Connecticut:  Mr. Zarwanski provided the latest update of the State of Connecticut DESPP statewide Next Gen 911 call handling system. The statewide IP network will take NG911 calls from the AT&T/TCS Host Switches and pass the NG911 call to AT&T/TCS NG911 Call handling equipment at the PSAP. It is expected that the first Next Gen 911 calls in Connecticut will be passed to the New Britain PSAP by late January 2015.  Testing will continue to ensure proper router operation to additional designated PSAP locations within the PSDN/TCS call handling software solution. Frontier Communications will continue to maintain the existing legacy systems and provide database services. 

 

Scott Wright provided a CSP radio update and explained the State of Connecticut 700/800 MHz switch is continuing to expand to include surrounding towns and so far is functioning above expectations.

 

Rhode Island:  No Report from State of RI.

 

Massachusetts: Mr. John Ruggeiro reported that there are dedicated funds totaling $68 million available. The State plans to replace the aging analog 800 SmartZone system with a new statewide 700/800 MHz Trunking system to include replacement of existing mobile and portable radios.

 

New Hampshire:  No report from the State of New Hampshire at this time.  

 

Maine: No report from the State of Maine at this time.   

 

Vermont:  Angela Allen reported on the Status of the Vermont 700 MHz state license WPTZ760. Vermont has notified the FCC that the State of Vermont is not pursuing use of the state allocated 700 MHz channel allotment. Discussion was held regarding the status of Region 19 State 700 MHz licenses and what to do with unused or returned frequencies formerly allocated to those states that no longer hold a state 700 MHz call sign. Chairman Zarwanski advised attendees that future discussions on this subject may be added to future RPC agendas.

 

Agenda Item 3: FCC Update

 

Chairman Zarwanski provided the most recent status on FCC docket 13-40 April 2013 and the most recent release of 14-172 proposed rulemaking regarding 700 MHz narrowband operations.  

 

The FCC removed its requirement for 6.25 KHz operations by December 2016 deadline.  FCC redesignates secondary trunking operation channels at 2 watts output to aircraft operating below 1500ft.

 

The FCC looked to the NRPC to identify nationwide 700 MHz travel channels. Members of the NRPC provided comments at meetings in October, November, and December 2014. The NRPC will make a recommendation to FCC to use certain identified channels to be cleared for exclusive use for travel and calling in. Scott Wright pointed out that these would be additional channels to the existing (2) 700 MHz calling channels and may lead to potential confusion.

 

A further ruling explained the FCC’s position on reallocating reserve 700 MHz channels to general use channels and provide public safety licensee’s priority to license reserve T-Band channels within the 50 Mile T-Band area. Applicants outside of the 50 mile radius will be allocated the 24 reserve channels by the RPC’s.

 

FCC encourages manufacturers to create a compliance certification program (CAP)  P-25 to ensure their equipment meets the P-25 standard platform for public safety 700 MHz radios. Scott Wright indicated that some manufacturers may have met the certification. 90.528 is the paragraph related to the FCC position however compliance is not made mandatory.

 

Continued discussion on additional items contained within 14-172 were mentioned and members were encouraged to study the R&O as it describes many new adopted FCC 700 MHz rules which will go into effect in early 2015. One important item is related to signal boosters, encouraging registration/notification of the locations, frequencies, etc use of the boosters.

 

Chairman Zarwanski described a recent “Q” document agreement with ICC Canada for shared use of certain 700 MHz band frequencies along the US/Canada Border. States that border Canada should review the document which is very lengthy.

 

Region 19 States have filed for their 700 MHz state frequencies but have not yet received notification of the results. The only state to have an approved 700 MHz State License is Massachusetts.

 

Vermont and Maine have notified the FCC that they wish to cancel their 700 MHz State License. George Carbonell inquired as to what the RPC plans to do with the returned VT and ME State frequencies. Chairman Zarwanski explained that the CAPRAD allocations will remain for now and those frequencies may be controlled by a recent signed six state (NE) and NY and NJ  MOU regarding the use of the State frequencies along each other’s border regions.  The MOU may have to be modified to reflect the cancelation of the VT and ME 700 MHz state frequencies.  It was noted that each State SIEC may end up involved in this issue depending on their governance charter.

 

 

Chairman Zarwanski provided and update to the HR 3630 D-Block (FIRSTNET) 700 MHz broadband Network. FIRSTNET is continuing to perform preliminary consultations and outreach meetings with states in order to determine which state decides to opt in or opt out of the FIRSTNET program. FIRSTNET is recruiting technical staff under a new First Responder Network Authority. See www.FIRSTNET.gov for more information.

 

 

Agenda Item 4: Application Engineering

 

A. Comstudy, Compass, FreqEasy vs Spectrum E.  Mr. Zarwanski updated the attendees regarding the status of the different engineering software platforms in use in Region 19, 8, and 30. The issue is whether each platform can use a standard site data spreadsheet which will return similar results for site propagation results. George Carbonell advised he is still working to receive Freq Easy and Compass parameters to compare the engineering results using submitted information in the Region 19 spreadsheet format.  Still a question on whether the FCC, through the NRPC, may fund each region to receive and use the same engineering application for frequency coordination and channel allocations. In the meantime, each region will attempt to turn around concurrence applications within the 30 day window using their respective software programs.

 

B. Technical Subcommittee. Chairman Zarwanski reported that the Technical Subcommittee has been meeting regularly each month or more often as needed. Region 19 is caught up with adjacent state concurrences because the technical subcommittee is resolving concurrences in a timely manner, not waiting for the next Quarterly meeting to perform the analysis. Subsequently, there are only a few pending 700 MHz concurrence application issues to review at this time. Most concurrence applications are being completed within the 30 day window. 

 

C. CAPRAD.   George Carbonell updated attendees on the progress of reviewing and correcting CAPRAD database frequencies. A question to be answered is the changes that occurred in CAPRAD “county” allocations over the last ten years. George has continued to insert comments to indicate the frequency may be listed in CAPRAD county data, but not in the approved Region 19 plan. Chairman Zarwanski advised that the Technical Subcommittee is charged with updating the CAPAD plan. He requests that the committee provide an update at the next RPC meeting in March with a completion deadline for six to twelve months.

 

 

Agenda Item 5: Region 19 Plan/Applications

 

Mr. Zarwanski noted that there are no pending Region 19 700 MHz applications to discuss at this time.

 

The Technical Subcommittee plan update team continues to gather the necessary information to update the Region 19 700 MHz plan. There is an initiative with FCC/APCO to provide assistance by the NRPC to help regional RPC’s complete their CAPRAD and 700/800 MHz plan restructuring. A meeting is planned for sometime in 2015.  Any changes made to the Region 19 plan must first receive concurrence from Adjacent Regions 8 and 30 prior to submitting it to the FCC.

 

 

Agenda Item 6: Region 8 and 30 700 MHz Concurrence Applications

 

The Technical Subcommittee has received and completed a Region 8 adjacent state 700 MHz concurrence application from Hudson County, NJ at this time. The application was approved and a concurrence letter was forwarded to Region 8. Bob Isby from Region 30 reported that there were no outstanding concurrence applications submitted to Region 19 at this time.

 

Agenda Item 7: National Regional Planning Committee (NRPC)

 

The NRPC meets by conference call every third Wednesday of each month.  Mr. Joe Yurman from NY is communicating with all Regional Planning Committee technical subcommittees to continue the discussion regarding the use of a common engineering software platform and technical data. At this time, each region applies its own technical parameters to analyze 700 and 800 MHz co-channel and adjacent channel propagation and interference, making concurrence analysis difficult and time consuming.  

 

 

 

Agenda Item 8. 4.9 GHz

 

Chairman Zarwanski discussed the importance of notifications to the Region 19 committee when 4.9 GHz systems are put in operation. He noted that he rarely receives notifications from users who are using 4.9 GHz frequencies in Region 19. Chairman Zarwanski noted that if the user has not notified the RPC of the use, and, if the FCC modifies the 4.9 GHz rules to reallocate the spectrum, those who are not on record may not receive reallocation assistance. Mr. Ruggiero indicated he spoke briefly to a few microwave vendors at the Fall Atlantic Chapter conference in NH and advised them of the Region 19 4.9 GHz reporting procedure. So far, no additional 4.9 GHz notifications have been received.

 

Agenda Item 9. New Business

 

2014 Meeting Dates and Locations: The FCC has put out a public notice for Region 19 meetings. A handout was available identifying the 2015 meetings. The next 700 MHz meeting will be held March 10, 2015 at the Kennebunkport Volunteer Fire Department, 32 North Main Street, Kennebunkport, Maine. Mr. Ruggiero from MA suggested that discussion be held regarding holding the December meeting at a different Vermont location. Chairman Zarwanski indicated that the next meeting in Vermont will not be until 2016, so there is time to discuss alternative locations for the next meeting.

 

Seeing no further comments or new business, Chairman Zarwanski declared a recess at 11:45 AM until 12:00 Noon at which time he will commence the Region 19 800 MHz RPC meeting.

 

 

Submitted - Jim Kowalik - Secretary