Monday, February 17, 2014

Webcast Fail

Although webcasting has been touted as a way for people to watch legislative meetings without having to come to the Capitol, many people who wanted to watch this morning's Senate Rules Committee hearing on Public Education Secretary Designate Hanna Skandera found the webcast useless.

The webcast, on the Legislature’s website, would transmit a few moments of testimony, then shut down for several minutes before coming back on. By the time senators began voting, the webcast completely shut down for some viewers.

The same type of problems occurred last week during the Rules Committee’s hearing on a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana.

No, it wasn’t your computer’s fault. John Yaeger, deputy director of the Legislative Council , confirmed that the large number of viewers — or would-be viewers — was responsible.

“We have a 100 (megabytes per second) line and we’ve brushed right up against limit today and several days recently,” Yaeger said. “By comparison, we generally topped out at 60 mbps last session.”

It’s doubtful that there will be a solution to the problem in the near future. So far there has been no proposed appropriation to upgrade the webcast system.