Meeting Minutes

New England Region 19 700 MHz

Technical Advisory Committee Meeting


Tuesday, September 8, 2015


Connecticut Fire Training Academy Headquarters

34 Perimeter Road

Windsor Locks, CT 06096


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 Zarwarnski 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:

Tom Guthlein – RIEMA

Ed Luczkow - CT

David McCarron – ME FIRSTNET

Bill Woodside – RI

David Stern – Region 8 NY


Agenda Item 1:  Approval of Minutes


A copy of the minutes from the last meeting was available to attendees.  Motion made by Mr. George Carbonell to approve the minutes as written. Motion seconded by Mr. Steve Brown. Mr. John Ruggiero noted a correction to the minutes regarding the MA State Police State Summary to change the model of the base stations to MSF5000.  Corrections accepted and a vote to accept the minutes as corrected approved by unanimous vote.


Agenda Item 2: Annual Election of Officers


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


Mr. Bob DiBella nominated Jerry Zarwanski to remain as chairman of the committee, seconded by Mr. Steve Verbil. Motion made by Mr. George Carbonell to close nominations for Chairman, seconded by Steve Brown. Vote to close nomination unanimous.


Mr. Steve Brown nominated Steve Verbil to remain as Vice Chairman, seconded by Blair Sutherland. Motion made by George Carbonell to close nominations for Vice Chairman, seconded by Steve Brown. Vote to close nomination unanimous.




Mr. George Carbonnell nominated James Kowalik to remain as Secretary, seconded by Tom Bardwell. Motion made by George Carbonell to close nominations for Secretary, seconded by Steve Brown. Vote to close nomination unanimous.


A motion to have the secretary cast a single ballot to elect the nominated personnel was presented by Mr. George Carbonell and seconded by Steve Brown. Seeing no further nominations or discussion, Chairman Zarwarnski instructed Secretary Kowalik to cast one vote for each nominee to fill the slate of officers. Secretary Kowalik acknowledged and the elections were completed.


Agenda Item 3: State System Updates


Connecticut: Mr. Verbil provided an update of the State of Connecticut DESPP Public Safety Data Network (PSDN) statewide 911 system. The Next Gen 911 dispatchers are now utilizing headsets which presented new challenges for some dispatchers who were not familiar with wearing and adjusting a comfortable volume with them.


Continued testing will proceed with an expectation to have the system accepted in early 2016. Connecticut is interested in state to state interoperability with the State of Massachusetts. Mr. Verbil related further information to attendees and persons on the conference call. He explained the flexibility of the new NG911 IP-Based (I3) network which will replace the existing ISDN Network with legacy equipment once testing is completed at 10 selected PSAP’s. The requirement is to handle text to 911 calls and possible future capabilities and functions for handling data such as photos and video. Mr. Verbil communicated discussions to be held to create an across the border 911 call forwarding interoperability plan with adjacent state MA.


Mr. Scott Wright gave a brief update on the progress of CT State Police Statewide P25 700/800 MHz system. The State is working with a vendor to roll out the system including new applications for frequencies in both bands.


Chairman Zarwanski and Mike Varney related similar issues related to the headset volume problem in the call taking system, some feedback and echoing.


Massachusetts:  Mr. Blair Sutherland provided an update on the NG911 project. He identified project scheduling discussions have been held with their vendor GDIC to extend the target date for completion of the network from June 2016 to ensure the system works as planned and meets the bid standards for MA emergency response. Once NG911 gets rolling, additional systems in other areas of the state will be completed.


John Ruggiero discussed the enhancement of the existing legacy statewide radio system with a 700 MHz complement radio system through a contract with Motorola.  MA SP will be applying for multiple 700 MHz general use frequency allocations related to this project by year’s end. The purpose is to create a 700 MHz system which may be compatible and present possibilities for future expansion of the radio system under the FIRSTNET nationwide broadband proposal.


New Hampshire:  Mr. Jim Kowalik provided a short update on the Department of Public Safety (DOS) IP-Based microwave system and statewide VHF P25 infrastructure. DOS is moving forward with an effort to utilize NH Capital funds and FIRSTNET SLIGP planning funds to put out an RFP to hire a consultant firm. The selected vendor will collect data and asset information associated with improving coverage for existing systems and potential collaboration with FIRSTNET. The vendor will create additional RFP’s for the purposes of providing additional LMR equipment to improve coverage for existing two-way radio systems and a system plan that may meet the basic FIRSTNET 700 MHz system requirements. 


Rhode Island:  Mr. Tom Guthlein provided a brief update advising that the State of RI is continuing their efforts to upgrade equipment within the aging state radio infrastructure. RI is purchasing approximately forty GTR8000 radios and additional microwave system equipment. Mr. Guthlien explained an additional benefit from the purchase of a software program to better monitor the system and report on the quality and usage of the system. Mr. Wright from CT asked about potential interoperability between CT and RI and a meeting was agreed to.


Maine: No Report from the State of Maine at this time. 


Vermont:  No Report from the State of Maine at this time.



Agenda Item 4: FCC Update


A.   FCC 14-172 Regional Plan Review/Approval. Chairman Zarwanski related continued discussions with the FCC regarding the submittal deadline for the amended 700 MHz Regional Plans. FCC indicated that October 30th, 2015 will remain as the deadline. Regions may request extensions but must be submitted in writing directly to the FCC. Region 19 is awaiting adjacent region concurrence from Region 8 and 30 at this time. Region 30 has indicated they will concur with the proposed Region 19 plan amendments if Region 8 does so also. Chairman Zarwanski will attend and meet with Region 8 officers, Morty Leifer and David Stern at the Region 8 meeting of September 17th to determine the status of Region 8 concurrence approval of the Region 19 amended plan. One issue to be discussed is the “interregional dispute resolution” process between regions and Chairman Zarwanski expects to resolve the issue at the meeting.  Handouts and a CD with the Region 19 Plan documents were provided to attendees and the plan documents will be made available upon request.


B.    FIRSTNET. Attendees were advised of the latest updates regarding planning efforts. As of today’s meeting, all New England Region 19 states have held their first consultation meetings with FIRSTNET representatives. Chairman Zarwanski reiterated the availability of FIRSTNET documents online and some additional handouts are provided at this meeting.


Agenda Item 5: Application Engineering


A. Spreadsheet Format .  Mr. Zarwarnski updated the attendees regarding the status of the engineering software platform conversations between the Regions 19, 30, and 8 technical committees. Region 19 requests applicants to provide frequency data information using a csv - delineated Excel spreadsheet file.


George Carbonnell discussed differences between Spectrum E and Comstudy programs. Discussion related to the means to acquire antenna patterns from each program or via the manufacturer. Concurrence was reached indicating the importance of importing the proper antenna data into the spreadsheet to make software program results comparable. Antenna patterns are requested in Region 19 applications.



B. Technical Subcommittee. The Region 19 RPC Technical Subcommittee meets every month via an online conference call application, usually on a Thursday of each month and has been very successful. Applications are moving faster and the committee members appear to be able to participate via shared online programs. A suggestion was made to request funding assistance from APCO Atlantic Chapter for a yearly subscription to a “Go to Meeting “  application or similar. Mr. Kowalik advised Chairman Zarwanski that a proposal to do that can be introduced at the October 2015 Atlantic Chapter Conference in Vermont.  


C. CAPRAD.  More discussion was held regarding the continued use nationwide of the CAPRAD system. Users who do not have access to CAPRAD can request access from the CAPRAD administrators, George Carbonell and Jim Kowalik. There is a separate user name and password needed to access a different region’s CAPRAD data.


Agenda Item 6: Region 19 Applications


Mr. Zarwanski noted that there are currently no Region 19 700 MHz application filings to discuss at this time.


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


Mr. Zarwanski noted that there are currently no Region 19 700 MHz adjacent region application filings to discuss at this time. It was noted that Region 8 will be filing a large number of 700 MHz concurrence applications in the next month or two.


Agenda Item 8: National Regional Planning Committee (NRPC)


The NRPC meets by conference call every third Thursday of each month. The NRPC held an all day training session during the APCO Annual Conference in Washington, DC in mid August. The NRPC meeting was attended by most states and informational sessions covered NRPC, FCC guidelines for Regional planning, and CAPRAD updates. The NRPC is continuing to research funding sources that may lead to the purchase and provide a common software engineering package to each region.


Agenda Item 9: 4.9 GHz


Chairman Zarwarnski once again discussed the importance of notifications to the Region 19 committee when 4.9 GHz systems are put in operation. The Region has submitted a 4.9 GHz Plan to the FCC and users should be able to follow the FCC guidelines including the notification procedure which identifies the itinerant or permanent use of the 4.9 GHz frequencies.  Users may reference the existing temporary license in their application but still must amend their license/call sign if the build out plan is for fixed or point to point sites. Users who are not on record with Region 19 on their 4.9 GHz frequencies may be subject to the FCC reallocating those frequencies.


A suggestion by George Carbonell was made to request funding assistance from APCO Atlantic Chapter for funds to purchase additional web site application assistance to update the Region 19 web site as needed.  Mr. Kowalik advised Chairman Zarwanski that a proposal to do that can be introduced at the October 2015 Atlantic Chapter Conference in Vermont. 


New Business


2015 Meeting Dates and Locations:

The next meeting will be held at the New Hampshire Department of Safety in Concord, NH. Jim Kowalik will be hosting the meeting on December 8, 2015. Chairman Zarwanski requested an email from Mr. Kowalik to confirm the NH meeting.


Mr. Zarwanski indicated that he needs to send to the FCC Region 19 2016 meeting dates, time, and locations for public Notification. Once he receives a confirmation from the hosting states he will send a letter to the FCC with the quarterly meeting dates, time, and locations


A brief discussion was held regarding a request for a new member from Massachusetts. After discussion it was noted that there is no designated membership category available for the applicant to fill. The applicant will receive a email/letter from Chairman Zarwanski indicting there is no slot available.


Chairman Zarwanski noted the dates and location of the October 2015 Atlantic Chapter Conference. The conference will be held October 25-28, 2015 in South Burlington, VT. The Atlantic Chapter web site is available with full conference information.




Scott Wright asked for clarification regarding the recently allocated deployable frequencies taken out of the reserved frequencies. Further discussion related to these frequencies and the T-Band frequencies was held. Chairman Zarwanski directed Scott to reference the frequencies in the FCC 14-172 Report & Order, NRPC recommendation and Region 19 amended plan which will control and direct the use of those frequencies.


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


Submitted - Jim Kowalik - Secretary