Meeting Minutes

Region 19 700 MHz Committee


Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Connecticut Fire Academy

34 Perimeter Road

Windsor Locks, Connecticut


Weather conditions caused the meeting to be slightly delayed. Mr. Jerry Zarwanski of CT chaired the meeting.  The meeting was opened at 10:12 AM. Chairman Zarwanski noted that a Quorum of committee members was present for this meeting. 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. Several members called in on the telephone conference bridge.


Attendees participating by Conference Bridge:

Ed Luczkow - CT

Tom Andross – NH

Gary Stango – CT

Rich Andreano - DHS Region I Coordinator


Agenda Item 1:  Approval of Minutes


A copy of the minutes from the last meeting was available to attendees.  Correction submitted by George Carbonell to advise he was on the conference bridge and the minutes did not reflect that. Minutes amended. Motion to approve the minutes as amended by Mr. Steve Verbil. Seconded by Mr. Steve Brown and approved by unanimous voice vote.


Agenda Item 2: State System Updates


Connecticut: Mr. Verbil updated the attendees the status of the CT DESPP PSDN system. The PSDN system has been expanded with BTOP grant money adding 500+ additional locations into the system.


Rhode Island:  Mr. Brian Glancy reported the State of RI has enough field strength coverage on 700 MHz state frequencies in place to meet the FCC substantial service mandate. 


Massachusetts: Mr. John Ruggeiro provided an update for the statewide 700 MHz system. He advised the State has submitted a compliance letter to FCC indicating they meet the 33% substantial service mandate deadline for June 2014.


New Hampshire:  Mr. Jim Kowalik provided a final update on the State of New Hampshire’s BTOP NHSafeNet IP Microwave and Fiber Optic program. Mr. Kowalik advised that the State of New Hampshire Department of Safety also plans to submit 700 MHz planning documentation to support a compliance letter to FCC indicating how NH will meet the 33% substantial service mandate  deadline for June 2014.


Maine: No Report.


Vermont:  No Report.


Region 1 Coordinator Update:  Rich Andreano updated the committee regarding the fact that the state of NH has signed the regional pre-coordination notification agreement, so now all six states in Region 19 have signed the agreement.


Mr. Andreano also advised of an update of the regional interoperability channel matrix which will be forwarded to all SWICs and Chairman Zarwanski to make available to committee members.   


Agenda Item 3: FCC 700 MHz and FIRSTNET Broadband Legislation


Chairman Zarwanski provided further updates regarding the pending FCC requirement for states holding 700MHz “State Licenses” to 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.


Chairman Zarwanski noted that he provided NPSTC guidelines to all SWICS in Region 19. Connecticut has finished its 700 MHz state license build out and has sent notification of compliance to the FCC. Discussion regarding the consequences of non-compliance by 700 MHz State Licensees, including the Committee’s requirement to receive 700 MHz returned state frequencies and re-allocate them by existing committee application process transpired. It was noted that for Region 19, each State 700 MHz application must first go to the State SWIC or SIEC for concurrence letter, then to the RPC committee. George Carbonell noted that the Region 19 application process may not be clear to State licensees.


Chairman Zarwanski provided an update on the FCC First Responder Network Authority (FIRSTNET) documentation. FIRSTNET authority is moving forward with FIRSTNET

engineering and applications development. Some issues regarding hiring practices of FIRSTNET employees and the Unites States Government requires all hires meet US Government hiring practices for pay and benefits.


DHS Regional Coordinator Rich Andreano advised that there is a FIRSTNET liaison office, headed by Mr. William Casey. New web site:


Agenda Item 4:


Agenda item #4 was inadvertently left off of the Agenda. The Agenda numbering went from 3 to 5.


Agenda Item 5: Application Engineering


A. Comstudy vs Spectrum E.  Mr. Zarwanski updated the attendees regarding the debate over which engineering software platform would best serve Region 19, 30, and 8.


Mr. Carbonell advised the committee that the FCC uses an EBF format that appears to be compatible with most engineering software platforms. Comstudy will be going away. Spectrum E and Compass will be the most common software packages.


Chairman Zarwanski advised the committee that he is next interested in acquiring Compass Software package to make additional comparisons of common data formatting.

John Ruggeiro is developing a CSV spreadsheet that may be made available on the Region 19 website to allow applicants to enter their data in the CSV format. Region 19 coordinators can then import the spreadsheet(s) into Spectrum E directly.


Region 19 bylaws still requests data in Comstudy format. However, most regions are now receiving coordination site data in the form of xls spreadsheet or on a CSV comma delimited spreadsheet which can be used by Spectrum E and Compass. If Region 19 plan is modified, the modified plan must be approved by adjacent regions and FCC before the changes take effect in practice.


B. Technical Subcommittee. The Region 19 RPC Technical Subcommittee meetings are held on a monthly basis. The committee work is caught up and border region concurrences are being handled within the recommended time frames. The NRPC technical subcommittee, headed by Joe Yurman of NY, will be recommending test (calibration) sites for each state which will allow coordinators to compare the applicants engineering software results to the test site. The parameters may be slightly different but the resulting coverage plots should be very similar which will aid the interference analysis accuracy.    


Agenda Item 6: Region 19 Plan/Applications


Mr. Zarwanski noted the CT DESPP applications for window 17 application has Region 30 concurrence but we are still waiting for Region 8 concurrence because of issues with Monmouth, NJ site(s). Chairman Zarwanski has forwarded additional site data information to Region 8 technical subcommittee and is hoping concurrence will be forthcoming soon.


CT DESPP window 18 (2nd) filing application is complete, region 8 & 30 concurrence received, letter has gone to CT State Police to proceed with licensing.


Agenda Item 7: Region 8 and 30 700 MHz Concurrence Applications


Mr. Zarwanski announced there are two Region 8 and 30 concurrence requests. Suffolk, NY and Nassau, NY Counties. The Region 19 Technical Subcommittee met by conference call to review both applications. Chairman Zarwanski advised that the 30 day review time is running out and Region 19 must respond to Region 8, Chairman Zarwanski asked the Committee to consider providing concurrence to these two applications today or sometime soon. Scott Wright, Technical Subcommittee Chairman, advised he did not have a chance to fully review the recently revised Suffolk County application data.  Motion put forth by Jim Kowalik to request a 30 day time extension for further technical review of the Suffolk, NY County application. Seconded by Steve Verbil. Voting members approved the motion by unanimous vote by show of hands. A date of March 20, 2014, was set to have the technical subcommittee further examine the Suffolk County, NY application.


Motion put forth by John Ruggeiro to approve the Nassau County Region 8 application. Seconded by Jim Kowalik. Voting members approved the motion by unanimous vote by show of hands. An approval letter will be sent to Region 8 for Nassau County, NY.



Agenda Item 8: National Regional Planning Committee (NRPC)


The NRPC meets by conference call every third Thursday of each month.


The committee continued discussion regarding issues with the spreadsheet formats that can be used to file application and field strength coverage studies. Further discussion regarding use of various engineering software platforms by multiple regions across the nation transpired. The problem is made worse by the fact that each region implements its own coverage parameters. Chairman Zarwanski noted that he has attended multiple NRPC meetings with continued discussions for finding a common engineering platform and funding source available to support RPC committees activities.


Agenda Item 9: 4.9 GHz


Chairman Zarwanski reiterated entities using 4.9 GHz should file proper notification of use of the 4.9 GHz frequencies to the Chairman as required by the Region 19 4.9 GHz Plan to make sure their use is noted. One benefit of the notifications are if FIRSTNET is successful in obtaining the Public Safety 4.9 GHz frequencies for network backhaul or other purposes, documented 4.9 GHz users may receive funds to move to another frequency band.


Region 8 has provided comments to the FCC indicating that they do not agree with the NPSTC filing or FIRSTNET proposal to use 4.9 GHz public safety spectrum.


New Business


A. 2014 Meeting Dates and Location: The next meeting will be held at the New Hampshire Department of Safety Headquarters Building, 33 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH on Tuesday, June 10, 2014. The rotation for the next few meetings will be MA and then VT.


B. Membership: Chairman Zarwanski reviewed the current membership of the 700 MHz committee. He noted the new SWIC for the State of New Hampshire, Mr. John Stevens, couldn’t make the meeting in person. He will be automatically added to the 700 MHz  committee and membership list.  Discussion regarding who is the official Rhode Island SWIC or SWICs transpired. Regional Coordinator Rich Andreano listed the SWICs for each State as he knows them.


C. CAPRAD:  Chairman Zarwanski advised the committee that the committee members should be learning more about the software and the use of it to review FCC 601 applications online. It was noted that George Carbonell and Jim Kowalik are CAPRAD administrators and anyone wishing to gain access to CAPRAD should file a email/written request to George or Jim. After June 14, 2014, the exclusive use of CAPRAD pre-sorting function by regional planning committees must be further discussed. Applicants may be able to apply for non-allocated 700 MHz frequencies. Region 19 still has the ability to continue to use and maintain the CAPRAD sort. Discussion relative to CAPRAD access for other Regions followed. CAPRAD limitations such as a user must have separate Region’s user name and passwords in order to submit applications and review applications in order of not being locked out were identified.


With no further comments or new business, Mr. John Ruggiero motioned for adjournment.  Mr. Steve Verbil seconded the motion. All members voted unanimously to adjourn at 11:10 AM


Submitted - Jim Kowalik - Secretary