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Friday 30 June 2000





The recent webcasting of the plenary sessions in Glasgow has sparked the interest of members and staff in providing such a service in Edinburgh for plenary and committee sessions.

The Glasgow webcast was provided in partnership with the Glasgow City Council, who commissioned a Scottish company to provide the service for the days when the Parliament was in Glasgow. The actual service was different in quality and range from that which was provided on 1 July 1999 for the Opening Ceremony webcast.

The experience of both webcasts has made us better aware of the style and breadth of service that is appropriate for Edinburgh. We have only recently received data like number, pattern and distribution of hits from the recent Glasgow event, and this still has to be analysed.

Communications Directorate will review and assess the options for webcasting the plenary and committee meetings of the Parliament over the next few weeks, with a view to securing the most appropriate service and at the best value for money in the near future. In particular, the following points have to be addressed before the service can be defined:

  • Transmission of simultaneous meetings

  • Editorial input from the Parliament to the webcast

  • Upgrading the internal pc’s and network to view the webcast

  • Likely demand for use of the webcasting service externally and internally

  • The capacity of the network to support transmission of video and audio signals from multiple users, and without adversely affecting the normal desktop service

  • Whether the service should be sourced internally or externally in the short and medium term

  • Provision of upgrades and innovations for webcasting over the next few years. This is a fast-changing technology and what is available or appropriate now may well change in 6-12 months time.

We will undertake a single webcast event on the last day of the current Parliament session, 6 July 2000, in order to gather together some further information on number and distribution of hits and the effect on the network. This, alongside other concurrent investigations on the items above, will allow us to appraise and define the options for webcasting.

The views of the SPCB will be sought next week on the most appropriate way forward for webcasting in the short to medium term.

Gift from President of Malawi

On Thursday 29 June His Excellency Bright Msaka, High Commissioner for Malawi presented a gift on behalf of the President, His Excellency Dr Bakili Muluzi, and all the people of Malawi to the Scottish Parliament and all the people of Scotland.

The gift will be on display for all Members to see on Wednesday 5 and Thursday 6 July in the Members’ Coffee Lounge, Assembly Hall, after which it will be displayed in the Presiding Officer’s Room, Assembly Hall.

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