Meeting Minutes

Region 19 700MHZ Committee


Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Rhode Island Emergency Operations Center

645 New London Ave.

Cranston, RI 02920




Mr. Jerry Zarwanski chaired the meeting. The meeting started at 10:02 AM. 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 was passed out. A motion was raised to accept the minutes. The minutes were accepted by Mr. Jeff Otto and seconded by Mr. Elliot Derdak.


Second item on the agenda: Resignation/Retirement


Mr. Jerry Zarwanski stated the committee received a letter dated April 29, 2009 from Mr. George Pohorilak announcing his retirement. Mr. Pohorilak identified he has been involved in 700/800MHz planning for over 20 years and takes great pride helping facilitate 700/800MHz plans. He stated it has been a pleasure to serve public safety in all of New England and would like to thank everyone for their support. Mr. Jeff Otto made a motion to accept George Pohorilak resignation and recognize his contribution to the committee over the years. Mr. Derdak seconded the motion.


Mr. Zarwanski informed the committee the bylaws of the Region 19 plan stated all officers must be members of the regional committee. Anyone with the intention of becoming a committee member or running for office must provide a letter of support from their agency. The letter must identify they are in good standing and are willing to make a commitment to the Region 19 committee.


Third item on the agenda: FCC Update


Connecticut: Mr. Steve Verbil informed the committee he has been conducting monthly statewide interoperability conference calls with the Interoperability Managers of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and the New England States. An agenda item for next weeks conference call is the New York Interoperability Symposium in Albany, New York. Mr. John Gustafson and Mr. Verbil will be speaking on a panel about interoperability governance.


Mr. Verbil identified Investment Justification 1 monetary portion of the PSIC grant will be spent on a P25 switch. The P25 switch will work in conjunction with the existing Connecticut State Police switch and provide services to the municipals. Region 1 UASI (Urban Area Security Initiative) and New Britain plan on utilizing the P25 switch.


States applying for the 47 CFR 400 E-911 Grant Program must submit their applications by August 4, 2009. The grant application requires certification that no 9-1-1 funds have been diverted in the last 18 months nor will the funds be diverted throughout the period of time the grant fund are available.


Mr. Verbil informed the committee; John Gustafson, the OSET staff and he is developing the Connecticut State 700MHz Plan. The completed plan will be presented at the September 8, 2009 New England Region 19 meeting. Mr. Zarwanski identified Stamford and Region 1 UASI are each looking for five 700MHz channels.


Massachusetts: No report


Rhode Island: Mr. Thomas Crotty stated there is proposed legislation in the state house to create an interoperability committee. The Emergency Management Agency has taken over interoperability coordination efforts.  


New Hampshire: Mr. James Kowalik indicated New Hampshire has had some vender onsite to upgrade their existing interconnect system into a redundant backbone. New Hampshire will be utilizing an IJ in the SCIP plan as a funding source to support the upgrade.


New Hampshire state agencies and public entities supporting state agencies are working together to apply for the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). The goal is to plot a redundant usable backbone path all around the state.


Mr. Kowalik informed the committee he is State of New Hampshire Interoperability Advisory Committee Chairman. He indicated there is not a state official interoperability executive committee yet.


Mr. Kowalik identified the State of New Hampshire has a state interoperability plan out of the office of Grants Management. The state plan is based on the SAFECOM Interoperability Continuum.   








Maine: Mr. Zarwanski stated Kennebunkport, Maine filed an application for 700MHz state channels with APCO. Mr. Zarwanski reviewed the application and identified Kennebunkport, Maine has identified channels from the General Use frequency pool. Mr. Zarwanski stated entities wishing to license General Use channels must complete a Region 19 application. Upon review and approval of the application by the Region 19 committee, the applicant would be granted permission to move forward with FCC licensing. Mr. Zarwanski indicated a letter was sent to Jeff Smith, the contact for Kennebunkport, Maine, identifying the procedures one must follow when requesting 700MHz General use pool frequencies for licensing.


Vermont: No Report


Rhode Island: No Report



Third item on the agenda: FCC Update


Mr. Zarwanski identified the final DTV transition date is June 12, 2009. All high power TV station will be required to transmit on and after that date utilizing digital signals.



Fourth item on the agenda: Region 19 Plan


Mr. Zarwanski stated the FCC sent a letter to the committee approving the Region 19 Plan on April 21, 2009. A copy of the official FCC letter approving Region 19’s plan was distributed at the meeting to attendees.


Fifth item on the agenda: FCC Broadband Auction – D Block


Mr. Zarwanski indicated the FCC has not determined what will become of the FCC Broadband D Block channels. Boston, Ma, State of New Jersey and California Bay Area cities; San Jose, Oakland and San Francisco filed waivers with the FCC requesting Broadband D Block be reallocated for public safety use.


Sixth item on the agenda: NRPC/NPSTC


Mr. Zarwanski stated Mr. Verbil and he will be attending the 700/800 MHz Regional Planning Workshop and CAPRAD Training from June 29th thru June 30th. The training is being funded by a grant received by APCO.


Seventh item on the agenda: Region 8 and Region 30 700MHz Plans


Mr. Zarwanski identified the Region 8 plan was approved by the FCC. The Region 30 plan was not approved because they did not reach out to the tribal nations. Once Region 30 meets this requirement they can resubmit to the FCC for approval.  


Eighth item on the agenda: 4.9GHz


Mr. Zarwanski stated the FCC approved licensing 4.9GHz “point to point” and “point to multipoint” for broadband primary use. An entity currently holding a license for “point to point” or “point to multipoint” must relicense identifying technical parameters (Latitude and Longitude, directional antennas, etc.). Mr. Zarwanski suggested referencing “WP Docket 07-100”, released by the FCC, on April 9, 2009 for more information about licensing 4.9GHz.


Ninth item on the agenda: New Business


Mr. Verbil stated a federally funded RF project that affects the landscape, will have an environmental review conducted by NEPA (National Environmental Protection Agency). The State of Connecticut Siting Council can not grant permission to move forward with a land altering project. The NEPA will determine the impact the project will have on the environment and grant permission to move forward according to their results.


Mr. Zarwanski indicated NPSTC submitted a petition to expand the 470 - 512MHz band to new market groups. Radiosoft, Inc. submitted a petition requesting Hartford, CT considered as an urbanized center for assignment of 470 - 512MHz frequencies.


Mr. Zarwanski stated NTIA Office has 43.5 million in grant fund for the upgrade of 911 equipment and Phase II Wireless. The only requirement for the State of Connecticut receiving their allotted amount of $500,000 dollars is the submission a completed grant application by August 4, 2009.


A Public Notice (DAO 09-1064) was released by the FCC on May 13, 2009 providing guidance on resolving border issues. 


With no further comments or business, Mr. Steven Verbil motioned for adjournment. Mr. Stephan Brown seconded the motion. Next meeting will be held in the Connecticut Fire Academy, 34 Perimeter Road, Windsor Locks, Connecticut.


All present agreed to adjourn at 11:17AM.