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Videoconferencing An alternative to face-to-face meetings Scott McPherson CIO, Florida House of Representatives.

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Presentation on theme: "Videoconferencing An alternative to face-to-face meetings Scott McPherson CIO, Florida House of Representatives."— Presentation transcript:

1 Videoconferencing An alternative to face-to-face meetings Scott McPherson CIO, Florida House of Representatives

2 Key Purposes of videoconferencing in Florida government Reduce travel costs Reduce travel costs Facilitate more productive use of decision- maker time Facilitate more productive use of decision- maker time Allow for more frequent visual meetings with distanced staff Allow for more frequent visual meetings with distanced staff Facilitate strategic objectives such as: Facilitate strategic objectives such as: Employee trainingEmployee training “Onboarding”“Onboarding” Distance learningDistance learning Disaster recovery/pandemic plan implementation (social distancing) Disaster recovery/pandemic plan implementation (social distancing)

3 Current State situation OSCA is considered a (national) best practice for government videoconferencing OSCA is considered a (national) best practice for government videoconferencing Pre-trial hearingsPre-trial hearings Meetings with circuits (Supreme Court)Meetings with circuits (Supreme Court) Department of Corrections has videoconferencing capability at roughly twenty facilities, including Central Office and prisons/reception centers Department of Corrections has videoconferencing capability at roughly twenty facilities, including Central Office and prisons/reception centers Federal hearings (2006)Federal hearings (2006) Distance LearningDistance Learning Meetings between Secretary and regional directorsMeetings between Secretary and regional directors Utilized during emergencies, disastersUtilized during emergencies, disasters DMS has video capability, but is leaving the market DMS has video capability, but is leaving the market Attorney General (Butterworth) had weekly videoconferencing with regions, unknown if it continues today Attorney General (Butterworth) had weekly videoconferencing with regions, unknown if it continues today Fish and Wildlife also uses videoconferencing Fish and Wildlife also uses videoconferencing

4 Potential uses by House of Representatives Legislator “virtual” attendance at committee meetings, public hearings Legislator “virtual” attendance at committee meetings, public hearings Citizen testimony that does not require travel to Tallahassee Citizen testimony that does not require travel to Tallahassee Consultations between legislators and staff (subject to public record) Consultations between legislators and staff (subject to public record) Consultations among legislators (subject to public record) Consultations among legislators (subject to public record) Meeting in a “socially distanced” way during events such as terrorist-related shutdown of Capitol, or due to travel restrictions caused by an influenza pandemic Meeting in a “socially distanced” way during events such as terrorist-related shutdown of Capitol, or due to travel restrictions caused by an influenza pandemic

5 House requirements Desktop videoconferencing at district office level Desktop videoconferencing at district office level Council/committee meeting room accessibility Council/committee meeting room accessibility Clear video, free of “pixelization,” artifacting, or drop-outs Clear video, free of “pixelization,” artifacting, or drop-outs Well-miked audio, clear and free of ambient noise Well-miked audio, clear and free of ambient noise As close to broadcast quality (30 fps) as is possible As close to broadcast quality (30 fps) as is possible

6 Technology makes videoconferencing more affordable Satellite-based videoconferencing is still used, but is older technology and is quite expensive Satellite-based videoconferencing is still used, but is older technology and is quite expensive “IP-based” videoconferencing is newer, more pervasive and is where the research and development dollars are going. “IP-based” videoconferencing is newer, more pervasive and is where the research and development dollars are going. IP-based videoconferencing can also now be done in Hi-Def. IP-based videoconferencing can also now be done in Hi-Def.

7 Challenges In mid-2007, at the request of Jill Chamberlain, House IT undertook an analysis of State videoconferencing capabilities to see if a “bridge” existed that the House could “glom onto” expressly for citizen testimony. In mid-2007, at the request of Jill Chamberlain, House IT undertook an analysis of State videoconferencing capabilities to see if a “bridge” existed that the House could “glom onto” expressly for citizen testimony. Neither the State University System, nor the State Community College System, has a video “bridge” that we could point our IP- based videoconferencing equipment toward. Neither the State University System, nor the State Community College System, has a video “bridge” that we could point our IP- based videoconferencing equipment toward. Therefore, the House will need to create its own “bridge” that others could point their devices toward. Therefore, the House will need to create its own “bridge” that others could point their devices toward.

8 Challenges The House is considering the installation of a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone system. This can carry a video signal, or a camera and microphone can be placed on the top of a legislator’s laptop. The House is considering the installation of a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone system. This can carry a video signal, or a camera and microphone can be placed on the top of a legislator’s laptop. Hypothetically, a legislator could be at a Starbucks in Milwaukee and participate in a House committee meeting via videoconference. Hypothetically, a legislator could be at a Starbucks in Milwaukee and participate in a House committee meeting via videoconference. Legislative district offices would need additional bandwidth, and the House and Capitol would also require additional bandwidth. This is a recurring cost. Legislative district offices would need additional bandwidth, and the House and Capitol would also require additional bandwidth. This is a recurring cost.

9 Challenges Committee rooms –either a few, a lot, or all of them – would need to be retrofitted to accommodate videoconferencing. Committee rooms –either a few, a lot, or all of them – would need to be retrofitted to accommodate videoconferencing. This would require additional cameras, newer digital presentation and switching equipment, better lighting, and additional projectors, screens and/or large-screen monitors (LED/LCD/plasma). This would require additional cameras, newer digital presentation and switching equipment, better lighting, and additional projectors, screens and/or large-screen monitors (LED/LCD/plasma). One alternative is to see if the Florida Channel video feed might be a suitable partner for this exercise. This would also allow for standard television broadcasting and Webcasting of more House committee meetings. One alternative is to see if the Florida Channel video feed might be a suitable partner for this exercise. This would also allow for standard television broadcasting and Webcasting of more House committee meetings.

10 Challenges Videoconferencing would also be subject to Florida public records law when applicable. Distanced meetings would have to be noticed and press access granted, either virtually or in person. Videoconferencing would also be subject to Florida public records law when applicable. Distanced meetings would have to be noticed and press access granted, either virtually or in person. To better enable distanced legislators to view material being presented for discussion, the House should also consider “Web conferencing” as an adjunct to videoconferencing. In that way, Powerpoint presentations could be viewed simultaneously with streaming video. The Web conferences could be archived and downloaded, the same way the House is now making Podcasts of council and committee audio available for downloading. To better enable distanced legislators to view material being presented for discussion, the House should also consider “Web conferencing” as an adjunct to videoconferencing. In that way, Powerpoint presentations could be viewed simultaneously with streaming video. The Web conferences could be archived and downloaded, the same way the House is now making Podcasts of council and committee audio available for downloading.

11 Projected Costs A very rough swag at costs would place this project in the 7-figure category. This would account for some 120+ member cameras; retrofitting of all committee meeting rooms; the construction of a video bridge; the installation of more bandwidth in Member district offices; the installation of more bandwidth in the House offices; and the addition and/or training of qualified personnel to manage the new audio/video equipment. A very rough swag at costs would place this project in the 7-figure category. This would account for some 120+ member cameras; retrofitting of all committee meeting rooms; the construction of a video bridge; the installation of more bandwidth in Member district offices; the installation of more bandwidth in the House offices; and the addition and/or training of qualified personnel to manage the new audio/video equipment.

12 Benefits Reduced travel costs/ “greener” meetings Reduced travel costs/ “greener” meetings Better utilization of legislator time Better utilization of legislator time Golden opportunity for citizens to be heard without the cost and inconvenience of traveling to Tallahassee Golden opportunity for citizens to be heard without the cost and inconvenience of traveling to Tallahassee ROI can also be extended to existing conventional resources such as television and the Web-based broadcast of committee video ROI can also be extended to existing conventional resources such as television and the Web-based broadcast of committee video Better security and greater survivability in the event of a terrorist attack or pandemic Better security and greater survivability in the event of a terrorist attack or pandemic More opportunities for legislators to be successful at their “day jobs” More opportunities for legislators to be successful at their “day jobs”

13 Innovation - Telepresence Proprietary to Cisco Proprietary to Cisco As seen on Fox’s “24” As seen on Fox’s “24” Identical meeting rooms allows for the appearance that all participants are in the room Identical meeting rooms allows for the appearance that all participants are in the room Very limited deployment (and expensive by today’s standards) Very limited deployment (and expensive by today’s standards)

14 The future of videoconferencing hic-telepresence/521/ hic-telepresence/521/ hic-telepresence/521/ hic-telepresence/521/

15 Questions? Thank you.


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