Meeting Minutes

New England Region 19 700 MHz

Technical Advisory Committee Meeting

 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

                            

  New Hampshire Department of Safety Headquarters

                                           33 Hazen Drive

                                          Concord, NH  03305

 

 

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

 

After some discussion, it was determined a Quorum of voting eligible committee members was present for this meeting. A voting member from three states and nine active members were present in person or by conference phone.

 

Attendees participating by Conference Bridge:

Steve Mallory - ME

Ed Luczkow – CT

Steve Woodside – RI

Tom Guthlein - RI

 

Agenda Item 1:  Approval of Minutes

 

A copy of the minutes from the last meeting was available to attendees.  A motion to approve the minutes, as printed, was made by Mr. Terry LaValley, seconded by Mr. Dave Chase. The minutes were approved by unanimous voice vote.

 

Agenda Item 2: State System Updates

 

Connecticut: Chairman Zarwanski provided attendees an in-depth update of the State of Connecticut NG911 system upgrade in process. The replacement of existing ComTech NG911 and Legacy 911 system with a West Viper NG911 utilizing  a PSDN fiber platform has been completed for 55 of 109 PSAP’s. The work is continuing with at least three cutovers occurring each week with a completion target of November or early December of this year. This system provides a statewide fiber network with failover capabilities to other PSAP’s. Mr. Steve Verbil and Mr. Scott Wright of State of Connecticut Public Safety and Protection were not in attendance to give an update of the Connecticut Public Safety Data Network (PSDN) and the CTSP Radio network activities. Chairman Zarwanski advised attendees that Mr. Verbil and Mr. Wright will give an update at the next quarterly meeting in September.

 

Massachusetts:

 

There was no report provide from Massachusetts.

 

New Hampshire:  NHSP: Mr. Jim Kowalik provided a brief update of activities related to the existing NHSafeNet IP Microwave network. Quarterly meetings are held and discussion of NHSafeNet operations and outages are held. The most pressing issue is the replacement of an ice damaged dish on the summit of Mt Belknap in Gilford, NH.

 

Mr. Kowalik described the RFP effort for NH to purchase and install VHF and 700 MHz dispatch upgrade equipment into the NH statewide system. The most recent RFP process did not produce a contract with a radio vendor so further research will take place in the near future. For NHSP cruisers, the State has purchased tri-band P-25 VHF, UHF, and 700/800 MHz mobiles for installation into the next shipment of 55 vehicles.

 

NH DOT: Mr. Dave Chase reported a contract has been signed with Vendor Tillson Manchester to provide upgrades to the existing NH DOT Intelligent Transportation System on the Everett Turnpike. The system will utilize additional 4.9 GHz microwave interconnect equipment and NHDOT will send 4.9 GHz licensing information from their licensing contractor to the RPC committee.

 

Rhode Island:  Mr. Tom Guthlein from State of Rhode Island commented on a new tower location site to replace an existing site for their 700 MHz system. RI is still studying the FIRSTNET proposal. Other activities are related to communications planning forums and preparations for the 4th of July celebrations. 

 

Maine: Mr. Steve Mallory advised there were no updates to report regarding Maine’s 700 MHz systems at this time.

 

Vermont:  Mr. Terry LaValley reported Vermont is converting the statewide LMR radio network to an LTE system using an AT&T solution. Also continuing to move the State Police and local radio systems to full P-25 system operation. Chairman Zarwanski inquired about Vermont’s efforts to regain the 700 MHz state spectrum previously given up. Mr. LaValley confirmed the State is requesting reinstatement of the 700 MHz state frequencies for use in the near future. Chairman Zarwanski noted that other states were making the same request. Recent discussion of this subject has been held at NRPC meetings. The result for these discussions is that the NRPC confirmed there is no means for RPC’s to control State 700 MHz frequencies and the New England RPC 19 committee will not allocate issue State owned frequencies for the time being. If another entity wishes to utilize State of Vermont 700 frequencies, they would most likely have to negotiate with the State and FCC. Chairman Zarwanski noted there have been no recent requests for allocations of the Vermont 700 MHz frequencies at this time.

 

 

Agenda Item 3: FCC Update

 

Region 19 700 MHz Plan Status.  Chairman Zarwanski advised attendees the Region 19 700 MHz modified plan was approved by the FCC in January 2017.  The Chairman once again thanked John Ruggiero from MA for his work on the final Plan version and submission of the entire Plan document to FCC. The Plan document was briefly discussed. It was noted that the approved Plan contains engineering parameter changes for frequency coordination. These changes were proposed by the technical committee to match FCC and adjacent region parameters with the goal of having each region perform the engineering analysis using the same parameters. Further discussions were held which included detail in the areas of interference, service contours, adjacent channel, and coverage models. A new parameter of “responsible radiation” levels was described. This parameter was arrived at by concurrence after much discussion between adj region technical groups. Chairman Zarwanski advised participants to closely examine the approved plan and especially the technical parameters. Applications received beginning next open window must comply with the new parameters.

 

Window Opening for 700 MHz T-Band Replacement Cannels.

 

Chairman Zarwanski provided in-depth description of the current T-Band UHF frequency transition to convert to 700 MHz frequencies based on the most recent FCC report and orders. Current T-BAND users may request a swap to 700 MHz reserved frequencies/deployable channels but must comply with all 700 MHz system parameters contained in their respective 700 MHz RPC/FCC approved plan.

 

Chairman Zarwanski reported that there may be conflicts associated with T-Band conversions in the major metropolitan areas in New England. Examples were NY City and Boston, MA. As previously noted at a previous RPC meeting, Region 19 NE along with Region 8 NY agreed to defer opening the next application window until they can create and concur on a process to enable practical and timely adjacent region concurrences of T-BAND to 700 MHz transitions.  Chairman Zarwanski noted that there is not be enough “reserved” spectrum to make transitions of early buildout deployments complete. The T-BAND transition is expected to become a major issue moving forward. More detail of this will occur at future meetings.

 

FIRSTNET.    FIRSTNET Region 1 coordinator Mike Varney provided an update on the First Responder Network contract process. FIRSTNET has awarded the NPSBN contract to AT&T. Since the award, AT&T has provided outreach to each state and will soon provide state plans for review. Mr. Varney described AT&T actions which will result in each state gaining online access to AT&T FIRSTNET portals to review state plans and other AT&T engineering documentation. Each state will have a certain timetable to work with AT&T technical teams to review and develop their final state plans. All State plans are expected to be finalized by September 2017.

 

Mr. LaValley noted that a recent regional meeting of New England State SPOCS resulted in an agreement to share state FIRSTNET plans.

 

 Agenda Item 4: Application Engineering

 

Spreadsheet Format.  Chairman Zarwarnski revisited the subject of Region 19 technical reviewers and surrounding regions using the CSV limited data format to import data from applicant’s software into the CAPRAD system. Users are requested to file antenna data with the application to allow for better coverage analysis by RPC technical subcommittee members. John Ruggiero has created a csv template document, available on the RPC web site that users may use to submit their antenna site data.

 

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. The goal of the subcommittee is to complete the review of new applications within 30 to 45 days including adjacent region review from Regions 8 and 30.

 

CAPRAD to SPECTRUMWATCH Conversion.   Chairman Zarwanski noted a major change to the 700/800 MHz CAPRAD application system has been proposed and tested by joint efforts of the NCC, NRPC, and APCO. The changes to the CAPRAD system will allow wider access to applicants by granting access to the current Spectrum Watch public safety application software. CAPRADAP system upgrade training was held in May for CAPRAD Administrators and Regional Managers. A brief demonstration of the new system will be provided as part of this meeting.

 

Agenda Item 5: Region 19 Plan/Applications

 

CT DESPP:  The CT DESSP application for T-BAND to 700 MHz nationwide deployable issues has been placed on hold as previously discussed and has been addressed, “Existing T-Band Licensed Users have first priority on 700MHz Reserve spectrum”.

 

MSP:  Chairman Zarwanski advised that he will request Massachusetts SP, John Ruggiero, to resubmit the recently filed 700 MHz applications into the new CAPRADAP on line system. Some work has been performed but Chairman Zarwanski would like to complete the process using the new system.

 

CITY OF STAMFORD, CT:  The application which had incorrect low power 700 MHz frequency information has been corrected, reviewed and approved by the technical subcommittee.  Stamford will receive an approval letter soon.

 

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

 

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)

 

A brief demonstration of the new CAPRADAP system was provided by Chairman Zarwanski and Secretary Jim Kowalik. Chairman Zarwanski described the CAPRADAP  training sessions that were held in Dallas, Texas, noting the distinctions between the current CAPRAD system and the new ”CAPRADAP” application. Applicants can access the CAPRADAP application via three different methods. By logging into the 700/800 MHz CAPRAD system will give you access to the “700MHz planning” platform. CAPRADAP Log in and feature demonstration were provided by Chairman Zarwanski and Jim Kowalik. It was further noted the system is still receiving updates to certain features which will improve the user experience by allowing users to submit FCC 601forms along with their 700/800 MHz applications to RPC members for review and approval.

 

An NRPC meeting was held during the CAPRADAP training session. Discussion was held on topics such as updates to NRPC bylaws, Regional Plans, T-BAND issues, 800 MHz plan updates, coordination engineering, and 700 MHz state channel returns to states who previously turned in their state licenses.

 

 Agenda Item 8: 4.9 GHz

 

Chairman Zarwanski advised attendees that, as discussed at each RPC meeting, entities using 4.9 GHz fixed point to point path locations must file proper written notification of use of the 4.9 GHz frequencies to the Chairman and FCC. It was noted that some entities may or may not realize their responsibilities related to the 4.9 GHz license. When an entity applies for 4.9 GHz frequency use, they are allocated the full 50 MHz bandwidth. It is recommended that 4.9 GHz users make sure they inform the committee of their license and the use of the bandwidth. If the FCC in the future recaptures the 4.9 GHz bandwidth, existing users on record with Region 19 may receive compensation to move to alternative frequency bands. 

 

Agenda Item 9: New Business

 

Next Meeting.  The next Region 19 700 MHz meeting will be held at the Massachusetts State Police Headquarters in Worcester Mass on Tuesday, September 12, 2017. Directions will be available on the www.ner700mhz.org website.

 

With no further comments or new business, Mr. George Carbonnell motioned for adjournment.  Mr. Steve Brown seconded the motion.

 

 All members voted unanimously to adjourn at 11:30 AM.

 

Submitted - Jim Kowalik - Secretary