Meeting Minutes

New England Region 19 700 MHz

Technical Advisory Committee Meeting


Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Massachusetts State Police Headquarters

470 Worcester Road

Framingham, MA


Mr. Jerry Zarwanski of CT chaired the meeting.  The meeting was opened at 10:00 AM. 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. Several members called in on the telephone conference bridge.


Attendees participating by Conference Bridge:

Ed Luczkow - CT

George Carbonnell – CT

Bill Woodside - RI

Steve Mallory – 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 printed by Mr. Jeff Otto, seconded by Mr. Blair Sutherland. Minutes approved by unanimous vote.


Agenda Item 2: Annual Election of Officers


The annual elections were held as required by the Chapter Bylaws. A motion to cast a single ballot to re-elect the current slate of Officers was presented by Mr. Jeff Otto and seconded by Mr. Brian Glancy. Seeing no discussion, Chairman Zarwanski instructed Secretary Kowalik to cast one ballot to re-elect the current slate of officers.


Agenda Item 3: State System Updates


Connecticut: Mr. Verbil provided the latest update of the State of Connecticut DESPP PSDN statewide 911 system. The Next Gen 911 call handling host equipment has been delivered to two sites New Britain and Bridgeport. Testing has begun with the first phase expected to be completed in December 2014. The system is in the process of converting from unicast to multicast. Additional testing is required to ensure proper router operation within the PSDN and call handling software solution.


Rhode Island:  Mr. Delguidice provided a brief update advising that the State of RI is continuing their efforts to meet the 700 MHz state license criteria. Chairman Zarwanski will provide an FCC 700 MHz license status check for all RPC States under Item four below.


Massachusetts: Mr. Blair Sutherland reported that there have been funds allocated to begin a statewide 700 MHz radio system upgrade to overlay onto the existing 800 MHz systems. Replacement of aging mobile and portable radios is planned as well as consoles and additional core infrastructure. There may be additional radio sites identified to supplement the radio system to accommodate the expanding number of users on the system. Discussion was held relative to the Boston BayPern 700 MHz system and the possibilities for future expansion of the system under the FIRSTNET nationwide broadband proposal.


New Hampshire:  Mr. Jim Kowalik provided a further update on the State of New Hampshire’s BTOP NHSafeNet IP Microwave and Fiber Optic program. The core IP microwave network has been placed in full operation. Current plans are to finish the system configurations related to the fiber alternative path connections provided by the BTOP stakeholders. Mr. Kowalik reported that the NH SWIC Mr. John Stevens has created the NH SIEAC and is working towards full committee operations within the next few months. Mr. Lee Savary reported on the most recent activity related to the NH DOT statewide communications systems. Additional microwave and routers are being added to the system to increase the dispatch capacity


Maine: Steve Mallory provided a brief update regarding the status of the State of Maine MSCommNet system.  


Vermont:  No Report.


Agenda Item 4: FCC Update


Chairman Zarwanski provided the most recent status as listed on the FCC 700 MHz State License web page. As of today’s date:


CT – WPTZ807 - Filed - Pending at FCC

MA – WPTZ789 – Filed – Approved by FCC

NH - WPTZ790 – Filed – Pending at FCC

RI -  WPTZ792 – Filed – Pending at FCC

VT –  WPTZ760 – No Filing

ME – WPTZ810 – No Filing


State of VT may be turning back their FCC 700 MHZ license. FCC Website indicates there are 14 states who have not filed and 3 states that have advised the FCC they will be turning in their 700 MHz state license.



Chairman Zarwanski provided attendees a brief update regarding the FFC proposal to mandate NB operations at 6.25 KHz. A few states have submitted waiver requests and the FCC may be issuing a new Report and Order in the next month or so.


Chairman Zarwanski described the latest FIRSTNET broadband LTE system progress. It was noted that FIRSTNET continues to move forward, attending public safety conferences, holding in state meetings, and posting job openings. The most important issue remains the OPT IN or OPT OUT option for each state. A further update to follow at next RPC meeting in December. Mr. Steve Verbil noted that FIRSTNET is having success with on-air testing of the 700 MHz radio equipment. He relayed information pertaining to the on-air coverage tests which show a slight improvement to the predicted coverage. Additional discussion on the exact nationwide configuration(s) and technical results from FIRSTNET project staff will be forthcoming.


Agenda Item 5: Application Engineering


A. Comstudy vs Spectrum E.  Mr. Zarwanski updated the attendees regarding the status of the engineering software platform and the conversations he has had between the Region’s 19, 30, and 8 technical committees.


George Carbonnell advised the attendees that AASHTO is currently moving to Radio Compass. He further advised that Radio Compass should be able to handle the same spreadsheet data that the Region 19 committee is expecting from applicants. He commented that the spreadsheet idea is good but it will be important to import the proper antenna data into the spreadsheet to make software program comparison viable.



B. Technical Subcommittee. The Region 19 RPC Technical Subcommittee met in August, usually held the third Thursday of each month. Currently there are no pending 700 MHz application issues to review at this time.


C. CAPRAD.  More discussion was held regarding potential updates to update the CAPRAD 700 MHZ data. George Carbonnell advises that he did input additional frequency data to include frequencies that were previously omitted. These are the frequencies that did not show up in the last presort update. The updated CAPRAD database will indicate these frequencies by a notation that states the frequency has been recently added. Additional work is needed to clarify the frequencies that may be listed in CAPRAD county data, but not in the approved Region 19 plan. It was noted by Chairman Zarwanski that CT may be applying for one such frequency in an upcoming application. The question will be how the Adjacent Region will address the frequency based on their own CAPRAD sort data.


Agenda Item 6: Region 19 Plan/Applications


Mr. Zarwanski noted that there are no Region 19 700 MHz application filings to discuss at this time. Chairman reported that the Region 19 plan updates will be forthcoming as time permits. The plan update subcommittee continues to gather the necessary data to be updated into the plan modification. Chairman Zarwarnski advised he did update some of the region contact information on the Region 19 web page. 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 7: Region 8 and 30 700 MHz Concurrence Applications


There are no outstanding Region 8 adjacent state 700 MHz concurrence applications at this time.



Agenda Item 8: National Regional Planning Committee (NRPC)


The NRPC meets by conference call every third Thursday of each month. The NRPC is considering a requirement for all applicants to use a common engineering software platform; however, in the meantime, the recommendation is to use baseline “test sites” to produce comparable coverage results based on those test sites. The general consensus is similar to Region 19 suggestions to have applicants submit the site data in a common spreadsheet format. The results from the data will allow coverage comparisons regardless of the software platform used by each region or applicant. It is noted that each region may have differing frequency usage and coverage parameters within their own approved plan.


The NRPC is continuing to research funding sources that may lead to purchase and provide a common software engineering package to each region.



Agenda Item 9: 4.9 GHz


Chairman Zarwanski once again discussed the importance of notifications to the Region 19 committee when 4.9 GHz systems are put in operation. He noted that NH DOT is one entity that has provided notifications for each implementation of the 4.9 GHz systems. Discussion was held among attendees regarding how many entities put 4.9 GHz systems in place without notifying Region 19. George Carbonnell discussed the means by which licensees usually apply for temporary 4.9 GHz paths, and then attempt to make that license permanent. The FCC requirement is actually for those entities to apply for a new site based 4.9 GHz permanent call sign. They may reference the existing temporary license in their application but still must apply for a new call sign.



New Business


2014 Meeting Dates and Location: The next meeting will be held at the Putney Volunteer Fire Department, 14 Main Street, Putney Vermont on Tuesday December 9, 2014.  

Seeing no further comments or new business, Chairman Zarwanski asked for a motion to adjourn. Mr. Carbonnell motioned for adjournment and Mr. Otto seconded the motion. All members voted unanimously to adjourn at 11:21 AM


Submitted - Jim Kowalik - Secretary