OARnet, Ohio Channel collaboration provides flawless online viewing

Mar 9, 2011

Record numbers access State of the State address; budget town hall meeting
via Internet

Columbus, Ohio —March 9, 2011 — A record number of people watched Governor John Kasich's first State of the State address via live streaming video, thanks to collaboration between the Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet) and the Ohio Channel.

OARnet, at the request of the Ohio Channel, built a new system in time for the March 8 address that provides increased bandwidth and server capacity for online streaming video. Sharing technology enable the two organizations to increase the possible number of video streams available from 1,200 to 8,000 streams.

During the highpoint of Gov. Kasich's speech, there were 5,931 concurrent connections, a five-fold increase over earlier live video streams. A week later, 3,100 connections streamed the Ohio town hall meeting where Gov. Kasich announced his executive budget proposal.

“We are excited about the new capacity to handle many more visitors. This has been a great collaboration between agencies that will help give the public even more access to their government,” said Dan Shellenbarger, executive director, Ohio Channel.

To give a statewide perspective, the Ohio Channel combines Statehouse coverage, supplied by Ohio Government Telecommunications and distributed by eTech Ohio, with locally produced PBS programs. Previously, the Ohio Channel, which operates as part of the Office of Ohio Government Telecommunications, had been using a single server setup with limited Internet connectivity

"This collaboration between the Ohio Channel and OARnet illustrates how sharing services can better serve Ohioans," said Pankaj Shah, executive director of OARnet.

The new system includes:

  • OARnet shared infrastructure with server, storage and network connectivity
  • Two physical servers, to provide redundancy in case one fails during a broadcast
    • Each server is a HP ProLiant BL490c G6 with two Quad-Core Intel Xeon, 2933 MHz with 72GB's of internal ram; the operating system is running off 8Gbit Fiber channel storage.
  • Each server runs Adobe Flash Streaming Media Server 4.0 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.3, and connects to a load-balancing switch that links to OARnet's high-speed network backbone.

Go to www.ohiochannel.org to watch an archived video of the State of the State address or the Executive Budget Town Hall Meeting.

About OARnet
The Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet) provides technology solutions for Ohio's education, public broadcasting, health care and government communities. Founded by the Ohio Board of Regents more than 20 years, OARnet identifies and deploys shared services that reduce costs, deliver quality programs, increase productivity and improve customer service. OARnet's flagship shared service – its 1,850 mile, fiber-optic broadband network – and its expansion into virtualization and cloud computing promotes community and economic development by expanding access to affordable technology.

About the Ohio Channel
The Ohio Channel is a service of Ohio's public broadcasting stations. The Ohio Channel combines Statehouse coverage with locally produced PBS programs to give a statewide perspective on issues that affect the lives of all Ohioans. www.ohiochannel.org