Meeting Minutes

New England Region 19 700 MHz

Technical Advisory Committee Meeting

 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

 

Connecticut Fire Academy Training Facility

34 Perimeter Road

Windsor Locks, CT  06096

 

Mr. Jerry Zarwanski of CT chaired the meeting.  The meeting was opened at 10:10 AM.  An agenda and minutes to the previous meeting in Cranston, Rhode Island were emailed to all committee members prior to the meeting and copies were also available for those attending the meeting.

 

A Quorum of at least nine committee members from three Region 19 states was present for this meeting.

 

Members are allowed to call in to the meeting via a telephone conference bridge. Attendees participating by Conference Bridge:

 

Steve Mallory - ME

Gil Woodside - RI

 

A minute of silence was held for the remembrance of the tragic events that happened on September 11, 2001. A terrorist attack on the USA where many innocent people and public safety responders lost their lives.

 

Agenda Item 1:  Approval of Minutes

 

Motion to approve the minutes of June 12th meeting by Mr. S. Brown and Seconded by Mr. J. Gustafson. The minutes were approved by unanimous voice vote.

 

 

Agenda Item 2: Annual Election of Officers

 

The annual elections were held as required by the Chapter Bylaws.

 

For Chairman  - Nomination from S. Brown for Jerry Zarwanski of CT, seconded  by R. DiBella. Mr. Zarwanski was re-elected by unanimous voice vote as Chairman.

 

For Vice Chairman  - Nomination from S. Brown for Steve Verbil of CT, seconded by J. Gustafson. Mr. Verbil was re-elected by unanimous voice vote as Vice Chairman.

 

For Secretary – Nomination from R. DiBella for Jim Kowalik of NH, seconded by D. Chase. Mr. Kowalik was re-elected by unanimous voice vote as Secretary

 

For Treasurer – Region 19 will continue to use APCO Atlantic Chapter treasurer to provide services.

 

Agenda Item 3: State Updates

 

Connecticut: DESPP Public Safety Data Network (PSDN), NG911, and DESPP by Chairman Zarwanski.

      The PSDN Data Network continues to be operational as intended. Several network updates implemented in past year.

      The Next Gen 911 Text-to-911 feature was tested and implemented. The system was officially operational on August 23, 2018. A media campaign will be broadcast to announce the Text-to-911 availability to the public. Transfer switches were updated and UPS equipment which is nearing end of life cycle is to be replaced soon.

      The CTS P25 700/800 Radio System fully operational, some modifications involving frequencies and equipment are ongoing. Mr. J. Gustafson, acting for CT SWIC, provided additional comments regarding the use of the statewide system by multiple localities and entities in Connecticut as intended during the planning stages of the system.

 

Massachusetts:  MA State Police (MASP) Statewide Public Safety Radio System by John Ruggiero.

      The MASP 700 MHz P25 core infrastructure upgrade plans moving forward. New consoles are being replaced as part of an $8M fund available for console systems, completion expected by October 2018.

      Completed new microwave updates in Central MA, additional legacy microwave links in Southeast region of MA with hybrid IP capable microwave equipment.

      Internal discussions regarding a hike in the 911 surcharge rate to support both the NextGen 911 and radio network infrastructure was presented and challenged. As a result, a hold on the current RFP process to update the P25 system to the latest revision is in place while the challenge to the rate hike is resolved.

      Mr. Ruggiero noted a change in the management of the MASP and Statewide 911 system operations.  Matt Barstow is the new Director of Communications for MASP.

      Mr. Barstow provided an update to the wireless PSAP at SP headquarters. Previously operated under MASP, now managed by the MA Statewide 911 offices. Text-to-911 is being rolled out, first location to go live will be City of Boston.

 

New Hampshire:  Statewide P25 VHF system by Jim Kowalik.

      NH SafeNet IP core microwave network infrastructure operational for over 5 years and continues to support multiple state and local partnerships.

      NH DESC awarded a contract to purchase and install P25 radio system infrastructure upgrades. Upgrades in process include replacing Embassy switch with new IP M Core systems in Concord and Laconia, replacing Gold Elite consoles with IP 7500 consoles, and changing out legacy VHF Quantar radio repeaters with IP GTR8000 repeaters. System installation planning is complete and equipment installations will begin this month starting in the Northern NH regions.

 

      NH DOS continues to work directly with the FirstNet/AT&T infrastructure build out group to complete large number of statewide LTE site installations.

 

NHDOT update by Dave Chase, Comm. Supervisor,

      NHDOT moving forward with FE Everett Turnpike 4.9 GHz microwave build out with contractor to expand the Statewide Intelligent Transportation Management System.

      NHDOT consulting with NH SWIC and FirstNet to examine integration of NHDOT legacy communications LMR technology for future users.

 

Rhode Island:  Gil Woodside advised attendees that there are no new changes to RI systems to report at this time.

 

Maine:  Steve Mallory provided a brief update for Maine.

 

      Maine has received DHS grant application for funds to create a Lewiston/Auburn 800 MHz system. Mr. Mallory did not receive enough data regarding the frequency information to review at this time. Further information has been requested.

      If grant is approved, a proper 800 MHz application for frequency allocations will be filed with Region 19.

 

Vermont:  No Report at this time.

 

Agenda Item 4: FCC Update

 

  1. FCC 14-172 700 MHz T-Band/Reserve Replacement Channels

      CT DESPP has filed a request for 6 of the 24 reserved T-Band channels. Requesting use of the 6 nationwide deployable channels on a secondary basis in the T-Band pool. Request was sent to NRPC for application review and approved as properly filed. It was noted that certain channels proposed in eastern Fairfield County would require adj region 8 concurrences. Chairman Zarwanski provided the application to FCC for opinion on requested channels and their use. Awaiting response from FCC.

      Region 8 has decided to not open a window for T-Band reserve 700 MHz frequencies applications. Region 8 is waiting on US Congress/FCC final guidelines before moving forward.

      Region 19 voted to not open a 700 MHz T-Band window based on the same reasons as Region 8 and Region 19 will also wait until the FCC guidance becomes known.

      Further Region 19 discussion on these issues to be held at future meetings.

 

  1. FIRSTNET.  Region 1 FIRSTNET coordinator Mike Varney provided a brief update on AT&T/FirstNet implementation.

      AT&T building out new sites at a fast pace throughout NE and the US Territories.

      Deployable mobile units are being deployed to the six NE states. Procedures for requesting their use currently under development. 

      AT&T subscribers numbers are rising but are expected to increase as the nationwide deployment of Band 14 sites are completed. CT has the most subscribers in the NE Region and possibly the most sites built at this time.

      CT and MA have 700 MHz Band 14 grant sites approved and these are currently under construction or planned for priority installation.

      AT&T APP Store is up and running and is available for review. Apps are being vetted prior to being offered to subscribers for use.

      Mr. Varney noted a change in his position. He will become a Director of Field Operations and his current position of Region 1 FirstNet coordinator will be posted.

 

Agenda Item 5: Applications and Engineering

 

  1. Common Engineering Spreadsheet Format:

 

      Region19 and Regions 8 and 30 have agreed on certain common engineering parameters for 700 and 800 MHz application review.

      John Ruggiero continues to examine the common engineering parameters and has provided sample templates to committee members for testing purposes.

      The FreqEasy platform has yet to be tested since few members use it. Chairman Zarwanski will confer with G. Carbonell regarding FreqEasy platform.

      Further technical discussion regarding the engineering program differences and suggestions was held. It was noted some adjustments to the existing coordination parameters in the Region 19 700 MHz plan may be necessary in the areas of coverage and incumbent user degradation.

 

 

  1. Technical Subcommittee:

 

      The technical subcommittee still holds monthly conference calls on the first Thursday of each month at 8 AM.

      New and pending applications are reviewed and voted for acceptance by members within a 30 day period if possible.

      Chairman Zarwanski and J. Ruggiero noted a few coordination procedural glitches discussed by the technical committee members during a recent monthly conference call. Changes to these procedures may require a plan modification.

      The technical committee is looking for new members to assist with application engineering review.

Agenda Item 6: Region 19 Applications

 

A.   MASS State Police:

 

      The MASP application filed on the CAPRADAP system program will continue to be processed for adjacent region concurrence by their engineering consulting firm once the contract is awarded.

 

      John Ruggiero MASP will continue to follow up with this pending MASS SP application for 700 MHz frequencies. Awaiting LOC from Suffolk County NY

 

B.    CT DESPP:

 

      The application for 2 additional frequencies to the existing communications system was approved by technical committee members during the most recent conference call.

      Discussion regarding certain procedures for minor modification applications similar to the DESPP application was held. Question on the need for performing excessive or repetitive analysis for modifications that add sites within the existing footprint of an existing system.

 

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

 

Chairman Zarwanski noted there are three applications for concurrences from Region 8. The technical committee will convene to review/approve these applications.

 

Agenda Item 8: National Regional Planning Committee (NRPC)

 

A.   CAPRADAP Engineering Program Use

 

      Chairman Zarwanski presented an NRPC CAPRAD program survey review during training activities at the APCO Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

       

o   Some survey results:

 

o   There are approximately 110, 700 and 800MHz regional committees.

 

o   Each regions committees are made up of various technical and non- technical members.

 

o   Each region currently use different engineering platforms, some rely strictly on vendors to provide engineering analysis and consequently do not have staff trained on the use of coordination software.

 

o   Some regions rely on paper applications which make for excessive paperwork requirements in order to perform adjacent region concurrence application review.

 

o   Most regions are willing to send staff to ATDI software training if offered and funded. NRPC announced that future technical training may be made available to promote the use of a common application/engineering platform and coordination procedures.

       

      The NRPC Eastern District Engineering Procedures PowerPoint presentation was provided and will receive further discussion at a later date.

 

Agenda Item 9: 4.9 GHz

 

      Further information regarding FCC 4.9 GHz 6th NPRM proposal to share 4.9 GHz microwave frequencies was reviewed and discussed.

 

      The 4.9 GHz band has been targeted for auction and may cause additional FCC rules and Regulations which could limit public safety use of the band.

 

      Specific requirements for Regional Committees to consider will be put forth by the FCC for comment. Additional discussion to be held at next RPC19 meetings.

 

      Chairman Zarwanski once again emphasized users of 4.9 GHz who hold 4.9GHz licenses must ensure they have the proper license on file.

 

Agenda Item 10: New Business

 

A.   Secretary Kowalik requested personal time and announced the following:

 

Chairman Zarwanski was awarded APCO Local Frequency Advisor of the Year at the recent APCO Annual Conference held in Las Vegas, NV.

 

Chairman Zarwanskis son was accepted into the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and recently completed basic training to become an Air Force Officer Cadet.

 

B.    Next Meeting date and Location:

 

a.     The next meeting will be held December 11, 2018 in Concord New Hampshire at the NHSP HQ offices located at 33 Hazen Drive.

 

    1. Directions will be found on the Region 19 web site.(www.ner700Mhz.org)

 

Seeing no further comments or new business, Chairman Zarwanski asked for a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by S. Brown and seconded by R. DiBella. All members voted unanimously to adjourn at 11:25 AM.

 

Submitted - Jim Kowalik – Secretary