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Linux Streaming Wins Respect in Europe
European Commission awards UK council that created “transparent” system to stream to constituents running Linux.
Wed., Mar. 7, by Tim Siglin

According to the eTen site, the intent of the project is to offer an open standards-based product that focuses on engaging with citizens in an age where voter turnout is dropping with each passing election. Those who voted for the eParticipate project explained that for them the project "enhances democracy and provides a vehicle for encouraging young people to participate in a medium where they feel comfortable" and that it is "important to make our democratic institutions as transparent as possible."

The application, nicknamed Public-i, enables public bodies to "implement and benefit from a full range of eParticipation tools that broaden the participation of citizens in the democratic process."

Two additional points made by the Waverly council’s submission are important to note. First is the fact that the local authority can create and transmit rich multimedia content either live or on demand over the Internet, using primarily existing tools along with the Public-i software package. According to the site, "there is no need for any post-production or editing, and webcasts are automatically archived. The system requires little more than a few clicks of a mouse to select a meeting and begin webcasting."

Second, and important for those in the public sector in the U.S. and Europe, the site notes that "the directness and transparency of the video is preserved." This counteracts any worry that content in the archives may be modified from the live event.

Waverley’s win has attracted the interest of other councils in the UK, which have secured funding from the Commission to develop streaming services. Waverly is now providing details on its project to over 40 other UK councils, and the system has spread beyond the UK and is now also in operational use in Ireland, Slovakia and Spain.