Meeting Minutes

Region 19 700MHz Committee


Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Putney Volunteer Fire Department

14 Main St.

Putney, VT



Mr. Jerry Zarwanski chaired the meeting.  The meeting started at 10:03AM.  An agenda was emailed to all committee members and copies were available for those attending the meeting.  Several members called in on the telephone conference bridge.


First item on the agenda:  Approval of Minutes


A copy of the minutes from the last meeting were available.  A motion was raised to approve the minutes. The minutes were approved by Mr. Jeff Otto and seconded by Mr. Stephan Brown.


Second item on the agenda: State Updates


Connecticut:  Mr. Stephen Verbil provided the committee with the State of Connecticut update. Phase I of the Connecticut Public Safety Data Network (PSDN) is nearing completion. Installation of network equipment for Phase II of the PSDN has begun and is scheduled for completion the 3rd quarter of 2013. Phase II of the PSDN will connect an additional 400+ public safety sites to the existing 112 sites. The PSDN governance document for Phase I and II of the project is in its development phase.


Connecticut On-Line Law Enforcement Communications Teleprocessing (COLLECT) and Motorola’s Project 25 Common Channel Gateways (CCGW) will be the first and second of three applications to utilize the PSDN as a transport mechanism. COLLECT and the Project 25 CCGW applications are scheduled to be operational on the PSDN in the spring of 2012. Mr. Verbil anticipated the third application (Next Generation 911) will be operational on the PSDN in July of 2013.     


Massachusetts: No Report


New Hampshire:  Mr. Tom Andross reported the State microwave system upgrade continues to move forward. The major sites in the state of New Hampshire have been completed.


Rhode Island:  Mr. Michael Walsh informed the committee one of ten, Motorola High Performance Data (HPD) system sites has been completed. The nine remaining sites are in the planning phase. Mr. Walsh identified Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) plans on applying for 700MHz State Licenses and 700MHz narrowbandchannels. The channels will be utilized in the state HPD system.   


Maine: No Report


Vermont: Mr. Terry LaValley informed the committee the state of Vermont has a program called Vermont Communications (VCOMM) which is a constellation of VHF and UHF transmitter sites installed statewide operating on the national VHF and UHF tactical channels. The state of Vermont signed a 12 million dollar contract with Harris Communications to implement the UHF/VHF system. The project is 50% complete. Harris Communications is also contracted to upgrade Vermont’s microwave system from Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) to Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS). The project has been completed. The Vermont State Police radio system is being upgraded from analog to a digital P25 system.


Third item on the agenda:  FCC Update


Mr. Zarwanski stated the DTV transition date has been extended from June 13, 2009 to June 13, 2014. The FCC requires states holding 700MHz “State Licenses” 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 identified the recovered state license spectrum will revert to General Use.


Mr. Zarwanski stated a memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been created in regards to the state border agreements for operating on 700MHz State Licenses. Mr. Rick Andreano (Office of Emergency Communications Region 1 Coordinator) reported the border agreement has been sent to all six states in New England. New Hampshire has not signed the agreement to date and Maine has chosen not to sign the agreement.  


Mr. Zarwanski informed the committee the vote to move the Rockefeller Bill forward to congress will not occur until next year. A new bill has also been introduced known as the Jumpstarting Opportunity with Broadband Spectrum (JOBS) Act of 2011. The new bill will award public safety with a 5 to 6.5 billion dollar grant to build out a nationwide Long Term Evolution (LTE) broadband system. The downfall to the grant is public safety is to auction the existing 700MHz narrowband spectrum to commercial use in the future.


Fourth item on the agenda: Region 19 Plan/Applications


Mr. Zarwanski stated there are no pending applications at this time. Region 19 has a continuous window opening every six months.





Fifth item on the agenda: Region 8 and Region 30 700MHz Applications


Mr. Zarwanski stated he attended Region 8’s November meeting. Region 8 has one outstanding application in their 1st window filing with Region 19. Region 19 denied Window 1 applicant Suffolk County and has requested they modify their transmitter sites to better protect Connecticut. At this time Suffolk County has not resubmitted a revised application to Region 19. Region 8 Window 2 is complete. Region 19 is awaiting the submission of Region 8 Window 3 application(s) and Window 4 is currently under review. Region 8 next Window opening is January 1st through 31st of 2012.


Governor Cuomo named Jerome Hauer Commissioner of State Division of Homeland Security and Steven Kuhr was appointed Executive Deputy Commissioner of the division and director of the state Office of Emergency Management. To date, Region 8 has not submitted any new applications to Region 19.


Sixth item on the agenda: 4.9GHz


Mr. Zarwanski stated Scott Wright requested Region 19 update the Region 19’s plan committee membership list. The last time the plan was update was same time ago.


Seventh item on the agenda: New Business


Mr. Verbil presented a letter to Region 19 from Mr. Michael Varney. On behalf of the Regional Interoperability Coordinators Committee (RICC).The letter requested Region 19 amend their bylaws to provide a voting seat on both the 700/800MHz committee to each state’s designated Statewide Interoperability Coordinators. Mr. Zarwanski provided the committee with a spreadsheet identifying current members and the disciplines they represent. The spreadsheet also identified vacant slots the committee has available to fill. Mr. George Carbonell made a motion to add Statewide Interoperability Coordinators (SWICs) as a nonvoting discipline for each New England state on the Region 19 700MHz committee. Mr. Jeff Otto seconded the motion. Mr. Verbil interjected and requested the committee further discuss the SWIC(s) role in the committee as a voting member. Mr. Carbonell expressed his concerns with adding another Emergency Management category (SWIC) to the committee’s voting members. We need members that will participate on the committee not just names on a membership list. Mr. Andreano indicated he has been contacted by several SWICs that have shown interest in becoming Region 19 700/800MHz members. Upon hearing Mr. Andreano’s and Mr. Verbil’s statements, Mr. Carbonell withdrew his original motion and made a new motion. Mr. Carbonell motioned to add SWIC(S) as a voting discipline for each New England state on the Region 19 700MHz committee. Mr. Otto seconded the motion. Eight committee members voted and the motion passed unanimously. Mr. Verbil made a motion to change the Region 19 700MHz Plan Section 2, Part 1 bylaws to make SWIC(s) eligible voting committee members. Mr. Steve Brown seconded the motion. Eight committee members voted and the motion passed unanimously.


The Region 19 700MHz committee membership was reviewed. The membership was rectified with the help of the Region 19 committee and meeting attendees.


Mr. Otto expressed his concerns with the JOBS Bill. Mr. Otto made a motion the Region 19 committee compose a letter to the New England members of the Senate and House of Representatives, supporting the main points in APCO’s Call-to-Action opposing bill H.R.3630. Mr. Paul Zito seconded the motion. Eight committee members voted and the motion passed unanimously.


With no further comments or business, Mr. Steve Brown motioned for adjournment.  Mr. George Carbonell seconded the motion.  The next meeting will be held at the Kennebunkport, 32 North Main St, Kennebunkport, Maine on March 13, 2012.


All present agreed to adjourn at 11:10PM.