Meeting Minutes

Region 19 700 MHz Committee


Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Kennebunkport Fire Department

32 North Street

Kennebunkport, ME 01702


Mr. Jerry Zarwanski chaired the meeting.  The meeting started at 10:10 AM. Chairman Zarwanski noted that a Quorum of committee members was present for this meeting. An agenda was emailed to all committee members prior to the meeting and copies were available for those attending the meeting.  Several members called in on the telephone conference bridge.


Attendees participating by Conf Call:

Steve Brown - CT

George Carbonnell - CT

Ed Lushco – CT

Tom Andross - NH


Agenda Item 1:  Approval of Minutes


A copy of the minutes from the last meeting was available to attendees.  A motion was raised to approve the minutes, as printed, by Mr. Jeff Otto. The minutes were seconded by Mr. Steve Verbil and approved by unanimous voice vote.


Agenda Item 2:  Annual Elections of Officers


Chairman Zarwanski announced the procedures for the election of officers and opened the floor to nominations for Chairman. No nominations were presented from the floor. Mr. Jeff Otto raised a motion to nominate the existing slate of officers and have the Secretary cast a single vote for each candidate. The motion was seconded by Mr. Elliot Derdak. No discussion was presented and attendees approved the motion by unanimous voice vote.


The slate of elected officers for the Region 19 RPC remain as listed below.

Chairman – Mr. Jerry Zarwanski

Vice- Chairman – Mr. Steve Verbil

Secretary – Mr. James Kowalik


Agenda Item 3: State System Updates


Connecticut: Mr. Verbil updated the status of the CT Public Safety Data Network (PSDN) which has been completed and the BTOP federal grant requirement for completion of the PSDN project has been satisfied.


Massachusetts: Mr. John Ruggeiro provided an update for the Metro Boston 700 Overlay Project, an eight site simulcast system to serve the Boston Metro area within the 128 corridor. A contract for the project is in progress, funded for the contract is pending. A frequency study is currently underway using CAPRAD sort.


New Hampshire:  Mr. Jim Kowalik provided an update on the State of New Hampshire’s BTOP SafeNet IP Microwave and Fiber Optic program. The project is essentially completed and has been operational for two months. The final acceptance phase is underway with project final completion deadline of December 31, 2013.  


Rhode Island:  Mr. Brian Glancy reported the State is continuing to install the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) High Performance Data (HPD) 700 MHz system. RI has patterned their project system design on the Massachusetts statewide trunked system and continue to resolve frequency issues in order to keep the project moving forward.


Maine: No Report.


Vermont:  No Report.


Agenda Item 4: FCC 700 MHz and FIRSTNET Broadband Legislation


Chairman Zarwarnski reiterated 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. 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 Region 19 RPC may end up taking control of 700 MHz frequencies for States that do not present a build out plan to the FCC by the deadline. The RPC may decide to allocate the unused 700 MHz frequencies to Region 19 states that have used up their allocations and request additional frequencies from the pool.


The committee provided an update on the FCC First Responder Network Authority (FIRSTNET) documentation (H.R. 3630) and initial Grant Funding available to each state.  Mr. Zarwanski advised many states have received their initial planning funds and others may be granted funds in the near future.  Information on who has received the grant funds is available on the FCC or FIRSTNET web sites.


A lengthy discussion among the meeting attendees regarding the FIRSTNET national broadband network occurred. Discussion included information regarding the preliminary nationwide system design, public safety broadband user applications engineering, and NTIA reserved spectrum for FIRSTNET systems. Rich Andreano, Regional Statewide Interoperability Coordinator (SWIC), gave a brief description of the FIRSTNET technical requirements and forthcoming FIRSTNET outreach workshops continuing to be held around the nation. Mr. Paul Zito provided members with a brief description of a very informative FIRSTNET technical workshop he attended.



Agenda Item 5: Application Engineering


Mr. Zarwanski reviewed the RPC committee's recommendation for a common software engineering application for coordinating and reviewing Region 19 700/800MHz applications. Additional discussion occurred with reference to previous recommendations to have all applicants provide an Excel CSV comma delimited spreadsheet identifying specific site parameters in a format that can be imported into ATDI Spectrum E software application currently used by APCO Local Frequency Advisers.


Mr. Zarwanski advised the members that the current RPC approved engineering software platform, Comstudy, was being phased out. The Region 19 Committee should consider modifying the 700 MHz regional plan to document the switch to a new software platform such as Spectrum E as soon as possible.


Agenda Item 6: Region 19 Plan/Applications


Mr. Zarwanski noted that he continues receiving more Region 19 Window 18 700 MHz Applications. The CT DESSP Window 17 application is in progress. However, there are problems with overlap and frequency compatibility. CT DESSP  window 17 application has Region 30 Concurrence but Region 8 has issues with CT DESPP  field strength overlapping Monmouth, NJ and possibly causing interference.


Discussion on the Region 8 filing process and Region 19 filing requirements took place.  Region 8 process is set up to have applicants find frequencies first, then prove funding, whereas, Region 19 requires applicants to prove funding prior to being allocated frequencies.


Agenda Item 7: National Regional Planning Committee (NRPC)


Mr. Joe Yurman of NYC Transit continues to lead research regarding a national common software platform for the National Regional Planning Committee (NRPC). The NRPC meets by conference call every third Thursday of each month.


Further discussion regarding issues with the spreadsheet format indicates that coordination issues between regions would still occur due to differences in each RPC frequency allocation guidelines and parameters. One possibility is for the NRPC to support acquisition of multiple engineering platforms and make the software available to RPC’s that need it to do adjacent state coordination. It was noted that the NRPC still does not have travel or meeting support funding available for the RPC committees. Mr Zarwanski reported that NRPC district representative Mr. Jay Gross would like to receive reports from RPC’s summarizing the application activity as potential support for future RPC funding.  


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


Mr. Zarwanski announced remaining applications for adjacent regions. Region 8 submissions for Rockland (#2687) and NY City DOIIT (#2654) have been completed by the technical subcommittee. Chairman Zarwanski advised that Region 8 concurrences usually are completed within 30 to 60 days.


 It was noted that Region 30 has created a new planning committee to speed up application review times.


Agenda Item 9: 4.9 GHz


Chairman Zarwanski advised attendees that NPSTC is pursuing a nationwide 4.9 GHz usage report for submittal to the FCC. The purpose is to advise and comment to the FCC that the 4.9 GHz band is in use most Regions. As discussed at previous RPC meetings, it appears that the FIRSTNET project is considering using 4.9 GHz for interconnecting backhaul. Entities using 4.9 GHz should file proper notification of the use of the 4.9 GHz frequencies to the Chairman as required by the Region 19 4.9GHz plan to make sure there is record  of use in Region 19.


New Business


 Membership.  Chairman Zarwanski reviewed the current membership of the 700 MHz committee. A new SWIC for State of Massachusetts is being hired.  A letter to Chairman Zarwanski is required for new members.


Funding.  APCO Atlantic Chapter continues to provide meeting support funds to Region 19 in the form of coffee and snacks. Web site costs were discussed by Mr. Carbonell. He advised payments of $15 and $83 were needed to continue the Region 19 web site support. A motion was made by Paul Zito to approve the expenditure of Region 19 funds of $98 to reimburse Mr. Carbonnell for web site maintenance costs. The motion was seconded by Mr. Steve Verbil and unanimously approved by voice vote.  


 Recommendations.   Chairman Zarwarnski advised attendees to consider future discussion of a number of recommendations to improve the Region 19 application process. 1. Simplify the application document. 2. Examine the funding requirements contained in the application procedure to help out smaller communities.

3. Review the frequency parameters on the application form.


With no further comments or new business, Mr. Steve Verbil motioned for adjournment.  Mr. Brian Glancy seconded the motion. The next meeting will be held at the Rhode Island Department of Transportation Highway and Bridge Maintenance Office in Warwick, RI on December 10, 2013.  All present agreed to adjourn at 11:37AM.


Submitted - Jim Kowalik - Secretary