Meeting Minutes

New England Region 19 700 MHz

Technical Advisory Committee Meeting


Tuesday, March 28, 2017 (Postponement)


Connecticut Fire Training Academy

34 Perimeter Road

Windsor Locks, CT 06096



The regularly scheduled March 14th meeting was postponed to March 28th  due to severe snow storm. Mr. Jerry Zarwanski of CT chaired the meeting.  The meeting was opened at 10:15 AM.  An agenda and minutes of the previous meeting in Cranston, RI were emailed to all committee members prior to the meeting and copies were also available for those attending the meeting.


A Quorum of voting eligible committee members was present for this meeting. A voting member from four states was present in person or by conference phone. Chairman Zarwanski noted the rescheduling of this meeting and thanked attendees for their participation.


Attendees participating by Conference Bridge:

Scott Wright – CT

Steve Mallory - ME

Ed Luskow – CT

Dave McCarron – ME (FIRSTNET)

Justin Bellen – NH DRED


Agenda Item 1:  Approval of Minutes


A copy of the minutes from the last meeting was available to attendees.  Motion to approve the minutes was raised. As printed by Mr. George Carbonnell. Seconded by Mr. Steve Brown. The minutes were approved by unanimous voice vote.


Agenda Item 2: State System Updates


Connecticut: Mr. Steve Verbil provided attendees brief update of the CT NG911 system upgrade in process.CPE Installations expected to be to be complete by Nov 2017 with System acceptance by end of 2017. The planned replacement of existing NG911 system with West Viper System continues at this time.  The CT Public Safety Data Network (PSDN) is also moving forward. Mr. Verbil noted there were minor issues with facilities and backup generators. Scott Wright briefly described other CT activities such as replacement of 700/800MHz portables with P25 compliant radios from multiple vendors using CT State Contract funds.

Massachusetts: Mr. John Ruggiero provided brief update for the MA statewide 700/800 MHz Public Safety System.  Legacy 800 MHz radios and console systems are being replaced/upgraded with P25 equipment at this time.  The General Dynamics NG911contractor continues to install additional PSAP locations with completion expected in late 2017. State of MA is participating with FIRSTNET 700 MHz broadband network planning and continuing to examine options for Band 14 deployments.


New Hampshire:  NHSP: Mr. Jim Kowalik provided a brief overview of the existing NHSafeNet IP Microwave network which has been in operation for almost three years. NHSafeNet stakeholders hold quarterly meetings to review network reliability and outage reports. A successful table top exercise with local, state, and federal personnel from New Hampshire and Massachusetts was held in Manchester, NH on February 16, 2017. One result of the table top exercise was a coordinated effort to program interoperable radio frequencies in NH and MA helicopter units. Successful on air testing between helicopter units was accomplished in March 2017. 


NH DOT: Dave Chase reported an RFP is proposing upgrades to the existing NH DOT Intelligent Transportation System. The system does not utilize 700 MHz equipment. However, there is planned expansion on the 4.9 GHz microwave interconnect system. NHDOT will provide Region 19 committee with 4.9 GHz expansion information.


NH DRED: Justin Bellen relayed info on the completion of a 700 MHz deployable repeater system resulting from their recent approval of RPC frequency allocations. 


Rhode Island:  Mr., John Gustafson (CT) commented on the RI High Performance Data (HPD) network continues to function as expected.


Maine: Mr. Steve Mallory advised there were no significant notable changes to report regarding Maine’s 700 MHz systems at this time.


Vermont:  No Report.


Agenda Item 3: FCC Update


Region 19 700 MHz Plan Status.  Chairman Zarwanski advised attendees the Region 19 700 MHz modified plan was approved b the FCC in January 2017.  The Chairman once again thanked John Ruggiero from MA for his work on the final version and submission of the final 700MHz Plan documentation to the FCC. The plan document was briefly discussed. It was noted that the approved plan contains engineering parameter changes for frequency coordination. These changes were proposed by the technical committee to match FCC and adjacent region parameters with the goal of having each region perform the engineering analysis using the same parameters. Further discussions were held which went into much detail in the areas of interference, service contours, adjacent channel, and coverage models. A new parameter of “responsible radiation” levels was described. This parameter was attained with concurrence after much discussion between adj region technical groups. Chairman Zarwanski advised participants to closely examine the approved plan and especially the technical parameters. Applications received beginning next open window must comply with the new parameters.


Window Opening for 700 MHz T-Band Replacement Cannels.


Chairman Zarwanski provided in-depth description of the process current T-Band UHF frequency holders will be required to follow if they plan to convert to 700 MHz frequencies based on the most recent FCC report and orders. The basic premise is that current T-BAND users may request a swap of 700 MHz reserved frequencies/deployable channels with T-Band channel(s). Engineering must comply with all 700 MHz system parameters contained in their respective 700 MHz RPC/FCC approved plan. To help lead users to a successful change, Region 19 along with Region 8 defer opening the next application window until a meeting takes place in May 2017. At that time, both regions will discuss and concur on a process to enable practical and timely adjacent region concurrences of T-BAND to 700 MHz transitions. More detail of this will occur at future meetings.


FIRSTNET.    FIRSTNET Region 1 coordinator Mike Varney provided an update on the First Responder Network Authority Public Safety Broadband Network (PSBN) RFP. FIRSTNET is predicting it will has award the FIRSTNET contract to AT&T. Once that happens, FIRSTNET will begin outreach to each state to introduce AT&T technical teams which will develop the draft and final state system plans.


FIRSTNET also awaiting comments on the NTIA Alternative Grant Program which will address the means states will have to consider opting out of the FIRSTNET State Plan in favor of an alternative plan developed internally. There is a focus on the potential leasing of the allocated 700 MHz public safety spectrum.


Mr. Varney noted available grant funds from NIST for parties interested in performing research on FIRSTNET system applications and Devices. Grant information can be found on the PSCR website.


 Agenda Item 4: Application Engineering


Spreadsheet Format.  Chairman Zarwarnski revisited the subject of Region 19 technical reviewers and surrounding regions using the CSV limited data format to import data from applicant’s software package (Spectrum E, Comstudy, FreqEasy) into the CAPRAD system. Users are requested to file antenna data (and type of data format) with the application to allow for better coverage analysis. John Ruggiero volunteered to create a csv template document that users should use to submit their site data.


Additionally, discussion was held regarding further collaboration between Adj. Regions to “mandate” applicants use the same technical parameters and engineering model to plot coverage. The recommendations are to use ATDI spectrum analysis software, the Longley-Rice coverage model, and the TSB88-E parameter standards. It was also recommended to have each region create one or more (ATDI) coverage “calibration” sites. This would enable technical review members to compare a known coverage plot to the coverage plot(s) shown in the application(s) form non-ATDI engineering software.


Technical Subcommittee.  Attendees were advised that the Region 19 Technical Subcommittee continues to meet the 2nd Thursday of each month. The sub-committee reviews technical aspects of applications and make recommendations for modifications to the site parameters as may be necessary for the proposed use to meet region specifications.


CAPRAD to SPECTRUMWATCH Conversion.   Chairman Zarwanski noted a major change to the 700/800 MHz CAPRAD application system has been proposed and tested by joint efforts of the NCC, NRPC, and APCO. The changes to the CAPRAD system will allow wider access to applicants by granting access to the current Spectrum Watch public safety application software. CAPRAD system upgrade training will be held in May 2017 for CAPRAD Administrators and Regional Managers. Further detailed information will follow at the next Region 19 quarterly meeting. 



Agenda Item 5: Region 19 Plan/Applications


CT DESSP. These applications have been placed in hold due to T-BAND protection issues and will be addressed as soon as possible.


MASP . John Ruggiero advised additional MASP  700 MHz applications will be forthcoming in next window.


CITY OF STAMFORD, CT. The application has been reviewed,  however,  the original frequencies in the application appear to be incorrect. The technical committee chairman will discuss the application issues with Mr. Ruggiero.  


Agenda Item 6: Region 8 and 30 800MHz Concurrence Applications


There are no further pending applications from Region 8 or 30 for committee review at this time.


Agenda Item 7: National Regional Planning Committee (NRPC)


The NRPC meets by conference call every using the same monthly schedule as the Region 19 technical subcommittee.  Chairman Zarwarnski announced the NRPC voting process for a new Eastern District Chairman has been completed and he has been voted in and approved as Eastern District Coordinator by the NRPC executive committee.

Chairman Zarwanski announced the CAPRAD upgrade training sessions are tentatively scheduled for May 1-3, 2017 in Dallas, Texas. The NRPC will provide further detailed attendance information to each regional chairperson. As of today’s meeting, two persons from each region will receive funding from a DHS grant to attend the training. More detail will be sent to the affected parties and discussed at the next monthly NRPC conference call in April.



 Agenda Item 8: 4.9 GHz


Chairman Zarwarnski advised attendees that, as discussed at each RPC meeting, entities using 4.9 GHz fixed point to point path locations must file proper written notification of use of the 4.9 GHz frequencies to the Chairman and FCC.



Agenda Item 9: New Business


700 MHz Vehicle Repeaters. Mr. John Ruggiero of MASP advised chairman Zarwanski for an issue he experienced regarding the proposed use of 700 MHz itinerant frequencies for vehicle repeaters in Western MA. There appears to be a problem caused by use of the itinerant frequencies outside of the regular licensed service area by user entities. Mr. Ruggiero is proposing to request an FCC waiver of low power 700 MHz frequencies to solve the problem. To create further discussion, he will submit his application on CAPRAD and request tentative approval by Region 19 pending FCC waiver request results.


Next Meeting.  The next Region 19 700 MHz meeting will be held at the New Hampshire Department of Safety Headquarter building located at 33 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH, The meeting will begin at 10:00 AM in the second floor main conference room. Directions can be found on the website.


With no further comments or new business, Mr. Steve Verbil motioned for adjournment.  Mr. Steve Brown seconded the motion. All members voted unanimously to adjourn at 11:40 AM.



Submitted - Jim Kowalik - Secretary