Meeting Minutes

Region 19 700MHz Committee


Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Kennebunkport Fire Department

32 North St.

Kennebunkport, ME



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 was available.  A motion was raised to approve the minutes. The minutes were approved by Mr. Jeff Otto and seconded by Mr. Gary Gutowski.


Second item on the agenda: State Updates


Connecticut:  Mr. Michael Varney provided the committee with the state of Connecticut update. The Connecticut Public Safety Data Network (PSDN) is on schedule for its completion dates. Two thirds of the network must be completed by September of 2012 and the network must be fully implemented by September of 2013. There are currently 186 sites connected and tested in the PSDN. Two bills have been approved by the state legislation updating the governance model of the PSDN and CEN (Connecticut Education Network).   


Massachusetts: No Report


New Hampshire:  Mr. David Chase reported SafeNet project is moving forward. The state of New Hampshire is working with their vendor to finalize the site locations. The completion date for SafeNet has not been identified. 


Rhode Island:  Mr. Michael Walsh informed the committee the Rhode Island Motorola High Performance Data (HPD) system equipment has been procured. Some tower locations are being modified to handle the additional equipment. Mr. Walsh believed the HPD system will be operational by August of 2012.


Maine: Mr. Bruce Fitzgerald reported the state of Maine MSCommNet (Maine State Communications Network Project) is moving forward. When completed MSCommNet will consolidate the legacy systems of 9 different state agencies into a single state system. The tower locations for MSCommNet will be completed this year. Mr. Fitzgerald believed the biggest obstacle of the project will be securing frequencies. The state has 200 applications with the FCC to license VHF frequencies. The state received a border interoperability grant through the Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) providing funding for the project.  


Vermont: Lt. Michael Manning 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. In March the state plans on upgrading their four Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs). He anticipated the first phase of the project will be completed September of 2012. The second phase of the project will be identifying coverage gaps and building out sites to fill in these gaps.


Integrated Border Enforcement Team (IBET) has setup cross border workshops with Canada to discuss interoperable communications between the states and providences.  


Third item on the agenda:  FCC Update


Mr. Zarwanski informed the committee he composed a letter to all the New England states Congress representatives. The letter identified New England Region 19’s support of the Rockefeller Bill and the allocation of 20MHz of D-Block spectrum to public safety.


Mr. Zarwanski identified a new bill was introduced HR3630 which was passed by Congress and signed into law on February 22, 2012.  The HR3630 gives public safety the whole 20MHz of D Block spectrum along with 7 billion dollars in funding. The bill requires the states to provide a 20% non-federally funded match. Mr. Zarwanski stated public safety will be getting broadband spectrum to be used for data and video communications. The bill also identified give back of spectrum in the T band (470MHz to 512MHz) range. Licensees operating in this band will need to vacate the spectrum in nine to eleven years. The T band spectrum will be auctioned off in the future. If the proceeds exceed 24.6 billion dollars additional funding will be provided for research and development in the 700MHz band.  The governance board named First Responder Network Authority develops timetables and RFPs to be reviewed by the FCC for the deployment of the Public Safety Broadband Network.


Mr. Zarwanski stated the FCC required 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 700MHz “General Use” spectrum.





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.


Mr. Zarwanski announced he modified the Region 19 700MHz Plan bylaws to include Statewide Interoperability Coordinators (SWICs) as voting members. The modified bylaws were provided to the meeting attendees to review and discuss. Mr. Jeff Otto requested Mr. Zarwanski clarify the language in Part1, Section 3; 2.9 Committee Membership/Quorum /Voting; C. Voting in the Region 19 700MHz Plan. Mr. Otto made a motion to modify the language in Part1, Section 3; 2.9 Committee Membership/Quorum /Voting; C. Voting in the Region 19 700MHz Plan to state “no single representative shall be allowed more than one vote”, and delete “SWIC eligibility category exempt”. Mr. James Warakois seconded the motion. Eight committee members voted and the motion was passed unanimously. Mr. Zarwanski identified he will move the modified plan to the FCC. 


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


Mr. Zarwanski announced Region 8 has a new SWIC Director, Robert Barbato.


Region 8 Window 1 has an outstanding application, Suffolk County, New York.  Windows 3 through 5 are still being reviewed by Region 8.


Region 30 requested concurrence for the City of Ithaca, New York. Mr. John Masciadrelli (Region 19’s Technical Subcommittee Chair) reviewed the City of Ithaca’s application with the committee. Mr. Masciadrelli identified no issues with Ithaca’s concurrence request. Mr. Otto made a motion granting the City of Ithaca concurrence. Mr. John Douley seconded the motion. Eight Committee members voted and the motion passed unanimously.


Sixth item on the agenda: 4.9GHz


Mr. Zarwanski reported BAE Systems requested a 4.9 GHz license for experimental use. BAE Systems is located in the state of New Hampshire. Mr. Chase from the Department of Transportation identified no interference issues with BAE Systems operating on 4.9GHz. Mr. Zarwanski stated he will provide BAE Systems will an approval letter to move forward with licensing 4.9GHz. Mr. Steven Brown made a motion to grant BAE Systems an approval letter to move forward with licensing their 4.9GHz experimental system. The motion was seconded by Mr. Tom Bardwell. Eight Committee members voted and the motion passed unanimously.


Seventh item on the agenda: New Business


Mr. Manning requested an updated on the 700MHz State License agreements between the northeastern states. Mr. Rick Andreano informed the committee Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island have signed the agreement. Mr. Andreano believed the state of New Hampshire has the intent to sign the agreement and the state of Maine has decided not to participate. Mr. Fitzgerald representing Maine stated a committee reviewed the agreement and had some concerns.


With no further comments or business, Mr. Otto motioned for adjournment.  Mr. Steven Brown seconded the motion.  The next meeting will be held at the Rhode Island Emergency Operations Center, 645 New London Avenue, Cranston, Rhode Island 02920 on June 12, 2012.


All present agreed to adjourn at 11:11A.M.