Meeting Minutes

New England Region 19 700 MHz

Technical Advisory Committee Meeting


Tuesday, September 13, 2016


Kennebunkport Fire Dept.

32 North St.

Kennebunkport, ME  04046



Mr. Jerry Zarwanski of CT chaired the meeting.  The meeting was opened at 10:15 AM.  An agenda and minutes to the previous meeting were emailed to all committee members prior to the meeting and copies were also available for those attending the meeting.


Chairman Zarwanski noted that a Quorum of committee members was present for this meeting. 


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


George Carbonell – CT

Ed Luszko – CT

Tom Guthlein – RI

Brian Glancy - RI

Bob Isby – NY Region 30

Bill Hackett – CT


Agenda Item 1: Approval of Minutes


A copy of the June 14, 2016 minutes from the previous meeting was available to attendees.  An email with the minutes was sent on September 8, 2016 to all on the distribution list. Motion was raised to approve the minutes as presented.  Approved by Mr. Tom Bardwell and seconded by Mr. George Carbonell. Minutes approved by unanimous voice vote.


Agenda Item 2: Annual Election of Officers


The annual elections were held as required by the Chapter Bylaws. The Chairman asked if anyone was interested in any of the positions. There was no response.  A motion to cast a single ballot to re-elect the current slate of Officers was presented by Mr. William Mallory and seconded by Mr. Tom Bardwell. Seeing no discussion, Chairman Zarwanski instructed Secretary Kowalik to cast one ballot to re-elect the current slate of officers:


Chairman  - Jerry Zarwanski  - CT

Vice Chairman  - Steve Verbil – CT

Secretary – Jim Kowalik – NH

Treasurer – APCO Atlantic Chapter


Agenda Item 3: State Updates


Connecticut:   Mr. Zarwanski provided the latest update of the State of Connecticut DESPP Public Safety Data Network (PSDN) and the Statewide Next Gen 911 system.  


PSDN:  Constructed and operational. Current activity is to replace aging batteries in the UPS units. One third of the batteries will be replaced each year.


Statewide Next Gen 911: 50% of the State PSAP locations have been converted to NG911. Conversion temporarily halted due to a recent 20 min outage in July.  Cause was undetermined. CT is waiting for NG911 system update ver. 7, but there may be a further delay to move directly to system update ver. 8.


CSP P-25 Radio System: System currently in process of expanding with the addition of more 700 MHz frequencies. CSP is converting from a legacy FDMA Smartzone system to a P-25 network and the project is moving forward with field tests.


Massachusetts:  No report, Mr. John Ruggiero was unable to attend the meeting


New Hampshire:  Mr. Kowalik provided a brief update relative to the recent RFP work effort with consultant from Mission Critical Partners. The process has been completed and the State received the final version of a Statewide VHF radio system expansion document. A team will use the document to issue a bid for the statewide system expansion project in November and expects to award a contract for services in early 2017.


A second RFP relative to FirstNet activities in NH has also been completed and a contract with a consultant firm to engineer a 700 MHz LTE system design is expected soon. The contract will create a guidance document describing detailed opt in or opt out scenarios for the Office of the Governor by March 2017.


Rhode Island:  A brief report from Mr. Tom Guthlein. RI has been awarded $10 Million to upgrade the RI 700/800 MHz statewide radio system. RI is requesting additional 700 MHz frequencies and is working closely with neighboring states of CT and NY to engineer a system which does not cause interference to either state. RI also has completed the installation of microwave interconnect and is proceeding to verify its functionality.


Maine: Steve Mallory reported on 700 MHz and MSCOMMNET activity in the State of Maine. Maine State Police continues to pursue software updates in the system, starting in the South and working their way North. Additional work is being done by New Brunswick DOT who is also putting in 700 MHz radios. Maine has initiated cross border 700 MHz communications planning with Nova Scotia.


Vermont:  No report.



Agenda Item 4: 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 meeting, no real change in the status of the Region 19 plan update. It  remains under review by Mr. John Evanhoff of the FCC Public Safety Bureau Office of Policy. The process is still expected to be completed by December 2016 but has been complicated by the fact that two states have given up their 700 MHz frequencies, Maine and Vermont.  Region 19 may assign turned in “state” frequencies for allocation to counties in those two states for other than state operations. The plan is not in effect until the final FCC approval letter is received by Chairman Zarwanski.


  1. Other regions have plans approved and out for public comment. Region 8, Southern New York and New Jersey, Plan is in the same status as Region 19. Region 30 upper Northern New York is the only adjacent Region with a FCC approved 700MHz Plan.


  1. FIRSTNET.  Region 1 FIRSTNET coordinator, Mike Varney, once again provided a brief update to attendees of recent activities. Mr. Varney advised attendees that the FIRSTNET RFP was released and bids were received, and an award to a vendor is expected by December 2016.  Mr. Varney noted that FIRSTNET is continuing an outreach process and will be communicating with lower level entities such as counties and towns. A FIRSTNET update presentation will be provided at the October APCO Atlantic Chapter meeting in Albany NY.


Agenda Item 5: Applications and 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-delineated Excel spreadsheet file. 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 praised the technical subcommittee members with continuing to do a good job with keeping up with Region 19 applications, Region 8 and 30 adjacent state concurrences. The technical subcommittee holds monthly conference calls each month and all applications are reviewed, new and existing in a timely matter. Chairman Zarwanski noted there are more applications being submitted all the time and invited any attendees to sign onto the technical subcommittee to assist with the increasing load of applications in both the 700 and 800MHz bands.


C. CAPRAD.  Chairman Zarwanski indicated that the new plan to place all inter-region communications, concurrence letters, and applications onto the CAPRAD system is moving forward. A couple of glitches occurred but are being addressed. Mr. Carbonell is tracking issues with CAPRAD.  An issue was discussed related to some users and reviewers who may or may not have proper admin rights gaining access to applications. Another issue is an apparent lack of ability to “take back” applications that require modifications after the initial review by the RPC. Region 8 attendees requested that Region 19 consider to make CAPRAD the exclusive means to submit 700 and 800MHz applications . A review and possible modification of CAPRAD would be needed. Chairman Zarwanski advised that he will notify adjacent states of any CAPRAD application that is submitted. CAPRAD is not the exclusive notification process yet, but, may end up that way eventually.



Region 19 Applications


  1. MASS State Police. MASS SP has application(s) for multiple 700 MHz frequencies for their expanding statewide system. MASS SP is in the process of obtaining a concurrence letter from Suffolk County, NY.  
  2. CT DESPP.  Connecticut DESSP filed multiple 700 MHz applications into the CAPRAD system. Some of those have been approved, others are on hold. See CAPRAD for latest application status.
  3. NH DRED application.  Chairman Zarwanski noted the NH DRED application for 700 MHz interoperability and deployable frequencies was approved and DRED has filed for a FCC License.


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


Chairman Zarwanski noted R30 concurrence application from Saratoga, NY is currently under review. Region 19 is up to date with Region 8 &30 Concurrences.



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 recent conference calls which discussed new subjects for members to consider.  A subject related to using Erlangs to measure frequency use and need is posted on the NRPC website. The subject was brought up at prior NRPC meetings and is too lengthy to review at this meeting. Conversations held regarding possibility to adopt similar engineering parameters for reviewing 700 and 800 MHz applications. It may be a simple plan amendment to make common engineering happen for both 700 & 800MHz bands. More on this subject at the next meeting.


It was noted that NRPC will be issuing nomination requests for NRPC offices this fall and encourages RPC members to nominate qualified candidates.


Agenda Item 8: 4.9 GHz


Chairman Zarwanski once again 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 that could prove the user is using the 4.9 GHz frequencies.


Agenda Item 9: New Business


A.   Next meeting date and location:


The next meeting will be held December 13, 2016 at:


Rhode Island Emergency Operation Center

645 New London Avenue

Cranston, Rhode Island  02920


Directions can be found on the Region 19 web site. ( )


Old Business


Seeing no further comments or new business, Chairman Zarwanski asked for a motion to adjourn. Tom Bardwell motioned for adjournment and George Carbonell seconded the motion. All members voted unanimously to adjourn at 11:05 AM.


Submitted - Jim Kowalik – Secretary