Meeting Minutes

New England Region 19 700 MHz

Technical Advisory Committee Meeting


  Tuesday, September 12, 2017


  Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency

                                                       400 Worcester Road

                                                   Framingham, MA  01701


This meeting required a move to an alternate location due to a scheduling conflict at the Massachusetts State Police General Headquarters. The meeting was held in the bunker of the State of Massachusetts Homeland Security next door. . A Public Notice was issued by the FCC regarding the meeting location change.


Mr. Jerry Zarwanski of CT chaired the meeting.  The meeting was opened at 10:03 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. 


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


Dave McDermitt - FIRSTNET

Ed Luszko – CT

Steve Mallory - ME

Dave McCarron - ME

John Gustafson – CT

Bill Hackett – CT


Agenda Item 1: Approval of Minutes


A copy of the minutes from the previous June 13, 2017 meeting was available to attendees.  Motion was raised to approve the minutes as presented by George Carbonell, seconded by Steve Brown. 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. Nominations and voting for the following positions noted below:


Chairman: Nomination - Jerry Zarwanski by G.Carbonell, 2nd S. Brown, Vote: Unanimous

Vice-Chairman: Nomination - Steve Verbil by S.Brown, 2nd G. Carbonnel Vote: Unanimous

Secretary: Nomination – Jim Kowalik by G.Carbonnel, 2nd S. Verbil, Vote: Unanimous



Agenda Item 3: State Updates


Connecticut: DESPP Public Safety Data Network (PSDN) by S. Verbil.

      Data Network operational as designed and operationsl for almost 7 years.

      Continuing to operate with some fiber link outages, corrected routing issues.

      Some unexpected outages caused critical downtime, Fiber links added.


CT Statewide Next Gen 911:

      2nd Generation of equipment installed by new CPE vendor West and AT&T.

      PSAP installations to be completed by December 2017.


CT State Police P25 700/800 Radio System:

      New hierarchy of CTS in place, further Governance work being developed.

      Study of shared statewide system cost at SafeComm meeting -State of Michigan.

      Experiencing interference issues from local LTE commercial cellular providers.


Massachusetts:  MA State Police Statewide Radio System by Blair Sutherland.

      Holding for funds for study of network design and site preparations

      Study user stakeholder needs, equipment purchase, and coverage issues.

      Some funding available for dispatch console upgrades, maintaining legacy microwave systems.

      Future funding requests in process with multiple agencies and legislature.

      New 700 MHz application in process on CAPRAD coordination system.


MA Next Gen 911:

      198 NextGen PSAPs installed with General Dynamics Vendor.

      Some contract issues with Verizon vendor to be solved.

      Numerous functionality tests performed for state 911undertaken.

      Limited Text-to-911, slated for December 2017 – Framingham and Essex tests.


New Hampshire:  Statewide P25 VHF system by Jim Kowalik.

       Noted transfer of NH State Police Comm Maint section to NH Emergency Services and Communications (911) Division.

      Some personnel changes in organization - committee member Tom Bardwell retired end of August.

      Comm Maint continuing to maintain statewide infrastructure, NHSP mobiles/portables, and dispatch systems.

      Multiple microwave dish repair contracts in place, work to be performed prior to Winter.

      Plan to submit 700 MHz application for statewide shared interoperability system.


Rhode Island:  No Report by RI.

Maine: No Report at this time.

Vermont:  No Report at this time.

      Chairman Zarwanski noted Vermont requesting reinstatement of State 700 MHz license previously turned in.

      Reported potential partnership with Broadband provider to repurpose 700 MHz state and county frequencies.



Agenda Item 4: FCC Update


  1. FCC Regional Planning for 700 MHz Allocations:

      Region 8 meeting attended by Chairman Zarwanski and Vice-Chairman Verbil.

      Region 8 considering changes to allocation of 700 MHz frequencies.

      Discussion related to use of county by county 700 MHz spectrum allocations to allow fair competition for available frequencies.

      Five year preliminary allocations by county have expired may allow movement of allocations to other counties by applicant request.

      Process to accomplish this is multiple year process through FCC, including plan updates.


FCC 14-172 T-Band / Reserve channels

      Discussion related to this proposal including opening a window for T-Band reserve 700 MHz frequencies was briefly held by attendees.

      Different plans in place for each Region at this time may complicate this change.

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


Potential interference to LMR 700 MHz operations:

      Discussion related to technical issues which may affect 700 MHz LMR users once FIRSTNET LTE is implemented.

      Potential problem with receiver filtering.


FCC Public Notice - 6 GHz use for Broadband :

      FCC accepting public comment regarding the potential for 6 GHz allocations for broadband use.

      Many States currently use a large amount of 6 GHz microwave backhaul.

      Public comment and review ongoing by FCC Public Safety Bureau Office of Policy.


  1. FIRSTNET.  Region 1 FIRSTNET coordinator Mike Varney provided an update to attendees of recent activities.

      Initial State plans released. Comments received and responses to questions returned to each state.

      Final State plans to be delivered a week from todays date. 90 day timeline for state decisions will begin once the final plan is submitted to Governors.

      Reported number of opt in states is now 20 with Maine as the only Region 19 state to Opt In.

      FIRSTNET predicts all state decisions will be known by end of December  2017.

      Question on interoperability between LMR and FIRSTNET.  Current broadband interoperability more directly related to applications. LMR interoperability most likely to involve gateways and interfaces. FIRSTNET responsible for broadband interoperability but LMR interoperability responsibility lies with LMR managers.

      Question on Verizon implementing FIRSTNET broadband access using their existing broadband over the air systems. Verizon efforts not directly related to FIRSTNET broadband access. S. Verbil described current public safety use of existing broadband systems, interoperability, and competition. There may be conflicts related to each providers equipment on public safety 700 MHz (Band 14).

      Further discussion on Band 14 licensing and who will eventually own or lease the spectrum.


Agenda Item 5: Applications and Engineering


  1. Common Engineering Spreadsheet Format:

1.     John Ruggiero is in the process of providing format guidelines for applicants to follow. Guidelines will be posted on the RPC website.

2.     Applicants must provide proper CSV format for application to be considered.

3.     Formats accepted are: ATDI, Comstudy, and FreqEasy.

4.     Common Engineering formats - tentative agreement by Region 19, Region 8, and Region 30. Details of parameters to be finalized by technical subcommittees.


  1. Technical Subcommittee.

1.     The technical subcommittee still holds monthly conference calls each month and applications are reviewed and voted for acceptance by members.

2.     Since the monthly meeting date and time may be fluid, Chairman Zarwanski invited attendees to sign on to the technical subcommittee in order to receive the proper meeting notifications.


Region 19 Applications


A.   CT DESPP.  Connecticut DESSP CTS 700 MHz application for reserve deployable frequencies.

a.     Unable to issue reserve frequencies at this time.

b.     Must wait for T-Band users who may apply for priority allocations of the reserve frequencies per FCC.

c.     Awaiting Open Window Periods to allow potential T-Band users to request the reserved channels. Must have T-Band channels to return.


B.    MASS State Police:

a.     MASS SP application for 700 MHz frequencies awaiting LOC and Application filing in CAPRADAP.


Agenda Item 6: Region 8 and 30 700 MHz Concurrence Applications


Chairman Zarwanski noted Region 19 is up to date with Region 8 &30 Concurrences at this time.



Agenda Item 7: National Regional Planning Committee (NRPC)


    1. NRPC training held during APCO Annual Conference in Denver.
    2. Jerry Z, Jim K, and Steve V. attended the training.
    3. CAPRADAP will be replace original CAPRAD for filing applications. All applications to be transferred over by end of 2017.
    4. CAPRAD will continue as a planning tool only. Will allow applicants to see current frequency allocations, application procedures, and plan documents.
    5. CAPRADAP webinars have been held. Three have been held, additional webinars to be announced by NRPC/APCO.
    6. NRPC promoting common engineering practices similar to NE Region RPCs. More work to be done to commit all regions to common engineering practices.


Agenda Item 8: 4.9 GHz


A.   Users of 4.9 GHz who hold general license for the 50 MHz spectrum must resubmit and file a modification to the FCC on buildout of permanent use 4.9 GHz paths.

B.    50 MHz license is for mobile and temporary use only - up to one year.

C.    Discussion regarding the potential for interference if users do not properly file the fixed use license applications.

D.   Entities wanting to install 4.9 GHz should review existing path licenses before deploying to prevent interference. So far, no interference issues have been registered in the region.


Agenda Item 9: New Business


A.   Next Meeting date and Location:

a.     The next meeting will be held December 12, 2017 at the Putney Vermont volunteer fire department.

    1. Directions can be found on the Region 19 web site.(
    2. Meeting dates and times for 2018 will be submitted to FCC for Maine (March), Connecticut (June), Rhode Island (September), and New Hampshire (December).


  1. New Business – Announcement:
    1. Jim Kowalik reminded attendees of upcoming APCO Atlantic Chapter meeting in Maine.
    2. Conference to be held October 22-25 in Rockland Maine Samoset Resort.
    3. APCO AFC local advisors will present CAPRADAP review during the conference educational sessions.


Old Business


Seeing no further comments or new business, Chairman Zarwanski asked for a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by G. Carbonell and seconded S. Brown. All members voted unanimously to adjourn at 11:35 AM.


Submitted - Jim Kowalik – Secretary