Meeting Minutes

New England Region 19 700 MHz

Technical Advisory Committee Meeting


Tuesday, June 14, 2016


   Putney Volunteer Fire Department       

                   14 Main St.

   Putney, VT 05346


Chairman Jerry Zarwanski opened the meeting at 10:00 AM. The meeting agenda and minutes of the previous meeting were emailed to all committee members prior to the meeting and copies were also available for those attending the meeting. Vice Chairman Verbil noted that a sufficient number of state committee members were present at this meeting which created a proper Quorum for this meeting.  


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


Ed Luczkow – Bristol, CT

Tom Andross – NH  

Steve Mallory – ME


Agenda Item 1:  Approval of Minutes


A copy of the minutes from the previous region 19 meeting held in Framingham, MA March 8, 2016 was available to attendees.  Motion made by Mr. George Carbonell to approve the minutes as written. Motion seconded by Mr. Brian Glancy. A voice vote to accept the minutes was approved by unanimous vote.


Agenda Item 2: State System Updates


Connecticut: Mr. Verbil provided the latest update of the State of Connecticut DESPP Public Safety Data Network (PSDN) statewide Next Gen 911 system progress. Mr. Verbil reported that approximately 480 new locations have been added to the statewide system.  The PSDN system is being used for Next-Gen 911 and inter-connect to other public safety local and regional community P-25 systems. CT currently has 24 PSAPs converted with additional locations becoming operational as the vendor continues to install 2 PSAPÕs per week. Mr. Verbil commented on changes planned for CTÕs Automatic Location Information (ALI) data systems as they transition to the new Next Generation 911 Location Information Service (LIS) . Completion of the NG911 system upgrades is expected to be completed by December 2016


Scott Wright of CT Department of Public Safety gave a brief description of the State of CT statewide P-25 phase 2 compliant system project. There will be a 2 phase (west and east) implementation and a transition period as the State moves from their legacy Smartzone system to the P-25 network. The project is going well, with minimum issues related to frequencies with adjacent regions.


Massachusetts:  Mr. John Ruggiero provided an update on the State of Massachusetts radio projects. MA SP is continuing to relocate their band 14 700 MHz low power temporary frequencies back to the FIRSTNET 700 MHz frequency pool.


MA SP continues to plan its move off current analog Smartzone System to a P-25 digital multi-frequency band system capable of accommodating multiple state agencies. To date, the 700 MHz band 14 frequencies continue to exist on the analog Smartzone System.  The State is also working with FCC to potentially move their existing pool of T-Band UHF frequencies to additional 700 MHz frequency allocations.


Mr. Blair Sutherland presented a short update regarding the StateÕs NextGen911 project. Progress has been somewhat slow but a pilot NG911 site is expected to be on air by July 1, 2016. Challenges are being experienced with new 911 call distribution configurations.



New Hampshire:  Mr. Jim Kowalik provided a summary of activity related to the NH Department of Safety NHSafeNet IP microwave network. The State has begun holding regular meetings with NHSafeNet stakeholders to manage the IP network operations and plan for continued maintenance of the 20 microwave sites which make up the core system.


Mr. Kowalik provided a brief update relative to the recent RFP process with consultant firm Mission Critical Partners. The RFP process was completed on June 30, 2106. The State has received the final version of the Statewide VHF communications radio system expansion technical document. A team has been created to proceed with an RFP bid invitation and to begin holding site visits with bid award expected in early 2017. A second RFP relative to FirstNet activities in NH has also been completed with a consultant firm expected to provide an opt in or opt out scenario comparison for the NH FirstNet Broadband Working Group committee and Office of the Governor.


Rhode Island:  A brief report from Mr. Dave Smith relating to their struggles with T-Band relocation issues. RI also continues to request 700 MHz spectrum.


Maine: Steve Mallory reported by conference bridge on 700 MHz activity in the State of Maine. Maine State Police continues to pursue incorporating 700 MHz frequencies the new City of Portland hybrid VHF/UHF/700MHz/800 MHz radio system.   


Vermont:  Vermont SWIC Jessica Stolz noted there was no 700 MHz frequency activity at this time in Vermont.





Agenda Item 3: FCC Update


A.   FCC 14-172 Regional Plan Review/Approval.


  1. Plan Filing Status. Chairman Zarwanski provided attendees with the latest information regarding the updated Region 19 700 MHz plan review by the FCC.  As of this date, the review of the Region 19 modified plan remains under review by Mr. John Evanhoff of the FCC Public Safety Bureau Office of Policy Management. Once his office completes its review, the plan will be sent out for a public comment period. The remainder of the process is expected to be completed by December 2016. The plan is not in effect until the final FCC approval letter is received by Chairman Zarwanski.


  1. Plan revised 700 MHz application filing procedures. An update regarding the new engineering requirements for co-channel interference focused on responsible radiation was discussed. New parameters will be issued to 700 MHz coordinators and application reviewers.


  1. FIRSTNET.  Region 1 FIRSTNET coordinator Mike Varney provided a very brief update to attendees of recent activities. Mr. Varney advised attendees that the FIRSTNET RFP was released and bids are being received. Mr. Varney noted that the FIRSTNET RFP process can be followed on the website. A contract award is expected to be issued by November 2016, State Draft Plans by May 2017, and Final State Plans submitted to State review teams by July 2017.


C.    T-BAND Frequency Allocations.  Scott Wright and chairman Zarwanski spoke briefly about issues still unresolved related to the need for T-Band users to move off those frequencies by 2021. The general idea of the FCC guidelines is for T- Band users to receive 700 MHz channels to replace the channels they give back. Much discussion related to this subject occurred and it was noted that there are areas in NY, MA and other states where there are thousands of current T-Band users who are not prepared to vacate spectrum without assistance. Scott has offered his assistance as liaison for CT, NY and Northern MA.  


Agenda Item 4: Application Engineering


A. Spreadsheet Format.  Mr. Zarwanski once again updated the attendees regarding the status of the common engineering software platform for Regions 19, 30, and 8 technical committees. The goal is to have all applications provide frequency data information using a csv-delimited Excel spreadsheet file format. Mr. Dave Chase provided the chairman with a sample csv file for the Compass frequency engineering application.  Jon Ruggiero will produce csv samples for Compass and ATDI Spectrumwatch and send them out to the technical subcommittee members to use. The committee is still looking for csv sample files from a member or attendee familiar with the FreqEasy software product. 


B. Technical Subcommittee. Chairman Zarwanski thanked the technical subcommittee members for their continuing efforts to keep up with Region 19, Region 8, and 30 adjacent state applications and concurrences. The technical subcommittee continues to hold monthly conference calls every first Thursday of each month. Application reviews and adjacent state concurrence approvals are occurring very quickly because of the cooperation among the various state regional technical subcommittee members. Chairman Zarwanski invited any attendees to sign onto the technical subcommittee to assist with the increasing load of new and modification applications in 700 and 800 MHz bands.


C. CAPRAD.  Chairman Zarwanski indicated that all inter-region communications, concurrence letters, and applications are being placed onto the CAPRAD system. Region 19, Region 8 and Region 30 technical subcommittee members have agreed to enter, review and forward all application and correspondence documents into the CAPRAD system. The process is continuing to evolve as small glitches with certain CAPRAD system procedures are discovered. This process is expected to improve the accuracy of CAPRAD application materials and decrease the time applicants wait to receive final approvals from each region. Mr. Carbonell is tracking issues with CAPRAD and advised attendees to forward him issues as they present themselves.


Agenda Item 5: Region 19 Applications


  1. MASS State Police. Mr. Zarwanski noted that John Ruggiero needs to enter his MA SP 700 MHz application into the CAPRAD system.  The paper 601 form previously submitted has been reviewed by the technical subcommittee. There is  a need for a concurrence letter needed from a user in Suffolk County, NY.  


  1. CT DESPP. Chairman Jerry Zarwanski briefly discussed the submittal of five additional State of Connecticut DESSP 700 MHz applications into the CAPRAD system. The technical subcommittee has reviewed the applications and all were approved. Chairman received adj region concurrence from Region 8 and 30. Chairman Zarwanski will send approval letters to CT DESPP as soon as possible.

( CAPRAD #Õs 3552,3553, 3558, 3559, and 3564 ) 


  1. NH DRED application.  Chairman Zarwanski noted the NH DRED application for 700 MHz interoperability and deployable frequencies has been approved and an approval letter was sent to the DRED office on April 20, 2016.


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


A number of Region 8 concurrences are under adjacent region concurrence review by all three technical subcommittee groups. All applications have been submitted via the CAPRAD system. Further updates to follow at the September RPC meeting in Maine.

( CAPRAD # 3500, 3473, 3499 )  


Chairman noted an additional concurrence application from Saratoga, NY which will be discussed at the next technical subcommittee meeting in July.


Agenda Item 7: National Regional Planning Committee (NRPC)


The NRPC monthly conference calls continue every third Wednesday of each month. There are multiple Region 19 committee members who regularly attend the conference calls. Chairman Zarwanski briefly described subjects from recent conference calls which discussed subjects related to wide area communications networks (WACAN), nationwide interoperability proposals, and other technical parameters. It was noted that Steve Verbil has been appointed as temporary Eastern Region director/coordinator for NRPC. NRPC continues to seek additional members willing to serve the committee.


Agenda Item 8: 4.9 GHz


Chairman Zarwarnski advised attendees to register usage of 4.9 GHZ frequencies with Region 19 because of potential for FIRSTNET to acquire unused 4.9 GHz bandwidth once that project gets going. It was noted that the CAPRAD system contains a 4.9 GHz application tracking module and appears to be tracking both the State 4.9 GHz full 50 MHz licensees and also the FCC 4.9 GHz (FCC) authorized point to point licensees.


Agenda Item 9: New Business


Membership: There are still some open positions available. A letter from the appointing authority must be submitted to the RPC Chairman for approval to fill open slots in each category. State of Rhode Island has forwarded an updated committee member list.


Discussion occurred reference implementing regional meeting attendance requirements. The current policy mandates members to attend at least one regional planning committee meeting in an 18 month period or face removal. An exception is made if there was no RPC meeting held in the normal rotation in your state. Mr. Carbonell volunteered to work with Mr. Kowalik to maintain and review the membership lists. Further discussions to be held at future meetings.


It was noted that Steve Brown has retired from the CT DOT Bradley Airport and will now become the alternate member for the CT Fire Administrator membership position.


2016 Meeting Dates and Locations:


The next meeting will be held September 13, 2016 at the Kennebunkport Volunteer Fire Department, Kennebunkport, Maine. Meeting notice and directions can be found on the Region 19 web site. ( )


Chairman Zarwanski noted the next meeting is when the annual election of officers takes place. Nominations may be made from the floor. Secretary Kowalik has informed the Chairman that he is very busy at his place of work and is looking for someone to replace him as the committee secretary.


A question from the floor asked if this committee reviews 5.9 GHz frequencies for connected/autonomous vehicles. Chairman Zarwanski advised that this committee does not deal with 5.9 GHz frequencies at this time.


Seeing no further comments or new business, Chairman Zarwanski asked for a motion to adjourn. Mr. Carbonell motioned for adjournment and Mr. Brown seconded the motion. All members voted unanimously to adjourn at 11:00 AM.


Submitted - Jim Kowalik – Secretary