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UC San Diego and SDSC to Present Live Internet Broadcast of President Clinton's Commencement Address

Published 06/05/1997

For More Information:
UCSD: Denine Hagen, 619/534-2920,
SDSC: Ann Redelfs, 619/534-5032,

In what may be the largest live video and audio Internet broadcast ever attempted by a university, the University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego) will bring President William Jefferson Clinton's keynote commencement address to the world via the World Wide Web.

President Clinton will deliver the 1997 commencement address to an audience of nearly 20,000 attendees on Saturday, June 14. According to the White House Press Secretary Michael McCurry, President Clinton will discuss the diversity of the American people, and will talk specifically about how to reconcile antagonisms between races and bring people together in one America to use diversity to make progress in the 21st century.

The Webcast will air from 9 a.m. to noon Pacific Standard Time, and President Clinton's speech is slated to begin at about 10 a.m. The live Webcast will be available at

More than 6,000 people will be able to simultaneously view the Webcast. Viewers may choose to access audio only or audio and video. The Webcast will use a new platform called RealVideo which has been created by Progressive Networks. This platform provides live video for any user who has a connection to the Internet and a 28.8 modem or higher. Users will simply need to download free software from RealVideo. A link is provided from the UC San Diego commencement Web site.

UC San Diego, the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), and Console, Inc. (San Diego) are collaborating on the project.

Console, Inc. is donating technical expertise in Internet broadcasts, equipment, and video streams that allow simultaneous viewing. Console is an experienced company that provides Internet broadcasts for live events, commercial television and radio stations. CTSNet (San Diego) will host audio and video streaming computers, providing the majority of the network bandwidth for the event.

SDSC, a national laboratory for computational science at UC San Diego, is hosting the broadcast site and providing technical expertise, additional streaming computers and bandwidth. SDSC and Console Inc. are coordinating the computer setup and network layout for the Webcast.

SDSC's primary Internet connectivity is over FDDI, which allows transmissions at a rate of up to 100 megabits per second. SDSC has additional connectivity via OC3 and OC12 ATM high speed networks which can transmit information at rates of up to 622 megabits per second. This redundancy and performance is key to providing reliable, simultaneous access to large numbers of users.

SDSC is also supplying the enabling technology to broadcast President Clinton's address through Multicast Backbone (Mbone), a protocol that supports simultaneous access by all connected users. This protocol is generally only available to educational and industry sites because it requires advanced software and connections.

Viewers may tune into the web site in the days prior to the commencement address to test video files on their personal computers. Video clips of the speeches will also be available for replay after the commencement.