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Maine State


Communications Network

Outreach Session Presentation

March 2012

Wayne Gallant


SOM OIT & MSCommNet Project Office

Wayne Gallant, Craig Hitchings, Stanley Fage

State Radio Operations

John Covert, Supervisor

Maine State Police

LTC Bessette


Bruce Fitzgerald

Harris RF Communications

Ken Steere

3/30/2012 3

– Co-locaters

• Vern Ouellette

Aroostook County

EMA Director

(Cyr Mountain)

r ’


– Co-locaters

• Renee Wellman

Hancock County




(Cadillac Mountain)

r ’


– Co-locaters

• Tim Hardy, Franklin County EMA Director

(Mt. Blue)

new MSCommNet tower at Coggan’s Hill

3/30/2012 6

MSCommNet Objectives & Priorities

• MSCommNet - Objectives

– Reliable voice communications (push-to-talk, 1 to many)

– Replace and consolidate outdated (30+ year) infrastructure

– Geographical coverage

– Increased capacity

– Interoperability

– Regulatory compliance

• FCC VHF narrowbanding mandate: January 1, 2013

• MSCommNet - Priorities

– Maximize State resources

– Reduce development and operating costs

– Long term technical scalability

3/30/2012 7

Adjacent Modernization Projects







New Hampshire Public Safety

USCG Rescue 21

Craig Hitchings

MSCommNet Project Office Manager

Office of Information Technology (OIT)

3/30/2012 9

MSCommNet Project Status

Land Acquisition & Site Civil Construction

Land Acquisition

Site Civil Construction




100% 4


50% 25



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• IA

A & Mountaintop policy

• Public hearings

• Unique construction

• Photos



Mt. Blue

3/30/2012 14

MSCommNet Project Schedule

Contract Signed

System Design

Demonstration & Simulation

Site Civil Construction

Subscriber equipment installation and deployment

Cutover to narrowband => then to full MSCommNet


source: Maine Office of Information Technology, March 2012

3/30/2012 15

Ken Steere

Project Manager



3/30/2012 16

302 Frequencies Required: 99 approved & 200+ at the FCC for review

FCC Industrial / Business Frequencies

– AAR Waiver being reviewed by Commission

– Public Notice / Public Comment Period completed

National Telecommunications & Information Administration


– Department of the Interior MOU executed

– 86 frequencies at NTIA review

• DOI returned with 27 recommendations/balance in process

Congressional Delegation Coordination

– Coordinated letter to FCC from both Maine Senators in process

FCC Narrow banding Waiver Deadline Extension Request

– Submitted to FCC on 22-Dec 2011

– Anticipated approval in the Spring 2012

3/30/2012 17

Bruce Fitzgerald

MEMA Director (Acting)

Border Interoperability

Demonstration Project

Three year grant period (FY2011 – 2014)

$3,963,000 from DHS Office of Emergency Communications (OEC)

Partners: Washington, Aroostook, Somerset, Franklin, Oxford Counties;

Passamaquoddy Tribal Nation; State of Maine agencies; US Customs &
Border Protection; Quebec and New Brunswick agencies

GOAL: Near continuous coverage along the entire border, to include remote areas

Aligns with Maine’s SCIP strategic initiatives and goals

Coordination with neighbor states and country

Partnership with Canada to help streamline the Line A approval


Radio infrastructure build out

Communications planning activities

Cross-border training and exercise

Border Interoperability

Demonstration Project

Challenges Addressed:

611 miles of Maine – Canada border

Daily interoperability with Canadian

mutual aid partners

Numerous coverage “dead spots” in

extremely rural, rugged terrain

FCC Narrowband mandate

Proposed Solutions for BIDP:

New and updated towers, repeaters

Cross-border radio caches

SOPs for interoperability during mutual aid

Training and exercise on SOPs

US – Canada Interoperability Channel (USCIC)

Border Interoperability

Demonstration Project

FCC Narrowband Mandate

Readiness Activities

Purchase of Kenwood, Motorola and ICOM

portable, mobile, and base station radios

Technical assistance for NB frequency re- licensing issues (through County EMAs and SWIC)

Planning grants to County EMAs for NB


“Narrowband Primer” document

Narrowband: Are You Ready? awareness dvd

and resource materials

Quarterly SCIP newsletter

FCC Narrowband Mandate

Readiness Activities

Radio Purchasing Strategy:

Standards based inventory evaluations at PD/FD/EMS/EMA agencies to determine minimum replacement needs for non-NB capable radios

Utilizing remaining FY2007 PSIC Grant funds

Remaining PSIC funds may be used to purchase additional radios for municipal public works and school departments

Remaining PSIC funds may be used to address new coverage gaps as agencies transition to NB frequencies

FCC Narrowband Mandate

Readiness Activities

Stan Fage

MSCommNet Radio Project Office

Office of Information Technology


MSCommNet Rollout

• Two Phases


User Equipment Legacy System


MSCommNet Cutover

• Other Considerations

– FCC Narrowband Mandate

• State Legacy System (Repeaters, User Equipment)


• Legacy User Equipment Redistribution

– Construction Completion

– Acceptance Testing (Site, System, Coverage)

– RegionNet & MSP Zone Dispatch Broadcast

– Frequency plan completion


Jan Feb Mar

Oct Nov Dec

ment Order

Manufacture & Deliver

Installation MSP Zon


2013 Schedule 2014

Action Jan Feb Mar IApr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar

Acceptance Testing




MSCommNet Cutover

by MSP Zone Houlton Orono Augusta Gray

Legacy Decommissioning

LTC Ray Bessette

Maine State Police

RegionNet Interoperability Layer

with Municipal, County, Tribal, State & Federal agencies

2-way interoperability (MSCommNet repeater at 40 sites)

MSP Zone Dispatch Broadcast Service on selected RegionNet repeaters

• Protocols required for incident management

• Expanded geographical coverage

currently 9 MSP repeater sites

will have 17 MSCommNet repeater sites

Ken Steere

Project Manager

Subscriber Equipment Overview

3/30/2012 31

P5400 Portable VHF


Unity® XG-100P Portable

Full-Spectrum Multiband

3/30/2012 33

bile VHF

C3 MaestroDispatch Console