Meeting Minutes

New England Region 19 700 MHz

Technical Advisory Committee Meeting


Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Rhode Island Dept. of Transportation Building

360 Lincoln Ave

Warwick, RI  02888



Mr. Jerry Zarwanski of CT chaired the meeting.  The meeting was opened at 10:07 AM.  An agenda and minutes to the previous meeting in Kenneybunkport, ME were emailed to all committee members prior to the meeting and copies were also available for those attending the meeting.


A Quorum of committee members was present for this meeting. At least one representative from each state was present.  Chairman Zarwanski noted the location for this meeting had been changed and thanked attendees for their participation.


Attendees participating by Conference Bridge:

Steve Mallory - ME

Ed Luskow - CT


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, Mr. Steve Brown, seconded by Mr. Brian Glancy. The minutes were approved by unanimous voice vote.


Agenda Item 2: State System Updates


Connecticut: Mr. Verbil provided attendees a brief update of the CT NG911 upgrade in process with installations over the past several months. Provider AT&T is replacing equipment and building new redesigned core. That portion of the project expected to be complete later this month (Dec 2016). The PSAP ComTech conversions to NG911 West Viper system will begin January 2017 and should be up and fully operational by end of the year in 2017.  The new system will be more stable and provide updated features which telecommunicators have requested.  AT&T is covering the conversion of existing infrastructure network equipment to support the new NG911 equipment.


Mr. Verbil advised the attendees that the State of CT is working to create proper governance of the statewide PSIC communications system. There have been numerous inquiries from entities who might consider the system as an option to replace their aging communications systems. 

Massachusetts: Mr. Blair Sutherland provided an update to the statewide 700 MHz Public Safety Committee. Eighteen small to medium PSAPÔs are joining the NG911 system at this time. The General Dynamics contractor continues to install NG911 to additional PSAP locations with many more to follow in 2017.  Positive feedback is being received from participating towns and cities. A question regarding text-to-911 status was asked by Chairman Zarwanski. Mr. Sutherland explained the current progress for implementing text-to-911. Some PSAPÕs using limited abilities to handle it with two PSAPÕs scheduled to be tested for text-to-911. Equipment is in place that ensures compatibility between new and legacy 911 center equipment.


Discussion of 700 MHz Band 14 system is underway as part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts participation in FIRSTNET. There is a request for information (RFI) on the street regarding the stateÕs options for the FIRSTNET broadband public safety network.


The 700 MHz public safety system study is still in process and a final report from the consultant is expected in early 2017. A competitive bid process is planned once the consultant report is received and reviewed.



New Hampshire:  Mr. Jim Kowalik provided a brief overview of the NHSafeNet IP Microwave network. The system has been in operation for a number of years and state technical personnel continue to become more familiar with the equipment functionality and its pluses and minuses. Some repair time issues from the vendor have been addressed.


For 700 MHz, NH State Police and other partner entities have begun to specify dual or multi-band mobile and portable subscriber units in recent procurements. NH has plans to consider 700 MHz interoperability with neighboring states as part of their overall 700 MHz frequency use. A table top exercise with NH-MA participants is planned for spring 2017.


The State of New Hampshire has a contract with RIVADA Inc to study potential options to the proposed FIRSTNET broadband network. The purpose of the contract is to provide the newly elected Governor of NH options for a Public Safety Broadband State Network. Representatives from RIVADA are present at this meeting and will present a short overview of the RIVADA broadband system functionality for attendees during the lunch break.


NH DOT Dave Chase reported AASHTO on a new Special Committee on Wireless Communications Technology has been reformed with four working groups created to address frequency coordination issues. Dave has been active in all four working groups and in particular the spectrum management workgroup.


Rhode Island:  Gil Woodside provided brief comments on the State of RI efforts to continue the support of the HPD network.

Maine: Mr. Steve Mallory advised there were no significant notable changes to any of MaineÕs 700 MHz systems at this time.


Vermont:  No Report.


Agenda Item 3: FCC Update


Chairman Zarwanski commented on the election of Donald Trump and potential for significant changes at the Federal Communications Commission. A search for new FCC commissioners is underway and Chairman Zarwanski will monitor the FCC appointments for important FCC spectrum position changes.


Region 19 700 MHz Plan Status.  Chairman Zarwanski noted the work of John Ruggiero from MA to complete edits and file the final version of the Region 19 700 MHz plan to the FCC a year or so ago. The plan was reviewed at the FCC and recently put out for public comment. The comment phase closes on Jan. 5, 2017. If no comments or serious objections to the Region 19 700MHz plan are received then the plan will be approved. Chairman Zarwanski expects final approval from the FCC will be received by early spring 2017. Steve Verbil noted a minor comment from the State of California regarding the potential for control of spectrum by the RPC vs users licensed by the FCC.


FIRSTNET Regional Coordinator Mr. Mike Varney provided an update on the First Responder Network Authority Public Safety Broadband Network. FIRSTNET is reviewing proposals from entities who responded to the FIRSTNET RFP. Final selection is expected in early 2017.  FIRSTNET coordinators around the country are focusing on the award of a FIRSTNET system vendor. Thereafter, FIRSTNET will develop State system plans for distribution to each State.


Other FIRSTNET activities included local and national SIEC, SWIC, and SPOC meetings in November.  FIRSTNET is also awaiting comments on the NTIA Alternative Grant Program which will address the means by which states may consider opting out of the FIRSTNET State Plan in favor of an alternative plan developed by the state.


Mr. Varney noted available grant funds from NIST for parties interested in performing research on FIRSTNET system applications and devices. Grant information can be found on the PSCR website.


 Agenda Item 4: Application Engineering


Spreadsheet Format.  Mr. Zarwanski updated the attendees regarding the engineering software platforms in use by various users and coordinators.  Chairman Zarwanski advised the committee that Region 19 and surrounding regions concur on requiring the applicant in providing a CSV limited data file format for importing data from each applicantÕs software package (Spectrum E, Comstudy, FreqEasy) from the CAPRAD system. Users are requested to file antenna data (and type of data format) with the application to allow for better coverage analysis. Mr. Carbonell noted that antenna data seems to be somewhat unreliable from certain manufacturers.


Technical Subcommittee.  Attendees were advised that the Region 19 Technical Subcommittee continues to meet the 1st Thursday of each month. The sub-committee reviews technical aspects of applications and make recommendations for modifications to the site parameters as may be necessary for the proposed use to meet region specifications and eliminate/reduce interference.


CAPRAD to SPECTRUMWATCH Conversion.   Applicants are currently required to file all applications, data and FCC 601 Form in CAPRAD. To date, Applicants must enter the application in CAPRAD separately but in the near future it is proposed that applicants can use the Spectrumwatch product to enter 601 form data and the 601 Form will be placed directly into CAPRAD. Chairman Zarwanski will provide additional information regarding the functionality of the proposed system and how it will integrate the two products.



Agenda Item 5: Region 19 Plan/Applications


Massachusetts State Police is awaiting a LOC from Suffolk County, NY.  John Ruggiero is in contact with Suffolk County contacts. Chairman Zarwanski advised he has all the pertinent documentation except for the LOC for a Region 8 concurrence. Once the LOC is received, he will be able to quickly approve the application.


Mr. Zarwarnski noted multiple CT DESSP applications have been approved however there are additional CT DESSP applications being filed on a regular basis. The Committee will review the applications as they are received on CAPRAD.


City of Stamford, CT application reviewed. Identified frequencies in the application appear to be incorrect. The technical committee Chairman will discuss the application issues with the applicant.


Agenda Item 6: Region 8 and 30 800MHz Concurrence Applications


Mr. Zarwanski announced there were two applications approved from Putnam County NY and Edison Township, NJ. There are no further pending applications from Region 8 or 30 for committee review at this time.


Agenda Item 7: National Regional Planning Committee (NRPC)


The NRPC meets by conference call bridge every third Thursday of each month. The meetings seem to function well and will continue.


Chairman Zarwanski announced the NRPC voting process for a new Eastern District Chairman has been completed. Mr. Steve Verbil is the acting district coordinator and Chairman Zarwanski has been selected by nomination and will fill the position if elected.

Result expected prior to the next meeting.


Agenda Item 8: 4.9 GHz


Chairman Zarwanski advised attendees that, as discussed at previous RPC meetings entities using 4.9 GHz should file proper notification of use of the 4.9 GHz frequencies to the Chairman and FCC.



Agenda Item 9: New Business


RIVADA INC Presentation: The Rivada presentation will be held at the break. Those that need to excuse themselves from the presentation due to a conflict of interest can do so. The presentation will be limited to 20 minutes.


Next Meeting:The next Region 19 meeting will be held at the Connecticut Fire Academy Training Center in South Windsor, CT on Tuesday March 14, 2017. The rotation for the 2017 Region 19 meetings will be CT, NH, MA, and VT.


New Business- RIVADA Inc.  Chairman Zarwanski advised the attendees of the presence of representatives from RIVADA Inc. RIVADA had made a request to the Chairman and the Chairman ran the request by the R19 technical committee which approved the time to RIVADA to give an informational presentation of their 700 MHZ FIRSTNET broadband alternative plan. It was noted that the RIVADA presentation may cause issues with certain attendees due to pending RFP or contract discussions with RIVADA. The RIVADA presentation will take place immediately following the adjournment of this 700 MHz meeting and anyone needing to leave the room may retire to another location in the building. The 800 MHz meeting will begin at approximately 11:30 AM.


With no further comments or new business, Mr. Steve Verbil motioned for adjournment.  Mr. Tom Bardwell seconded the motion. All members voted unanimously to adjourn at 11:01 AM.



Submitted - Jim Kowalik - Secretary