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Re: cost for streaming audio at the symposium...

We already have Amsat nets on commercial GEO satellites. We could hold such a
net during the annual symposium with enough advance planning. We could use ham
radio assets such as Echolink instead of relying on the hotel for a high
bandwidth feed. If somebody will start planning and organizing right now, it
could be ready to deploy at next year's symposium. We could offer two way
audio conferencing with question and answer capability. With enough bandwidth
we could offer one way video conferencing, so everybody can see the slides and
the speaker's use of the laser pointer. Businessmen already have conferencing
capabilities that allow people in widely dispersed locations to share slides
and interact with pointers and such. It's all just a matter of money,
bandwidth, planning and organization. 

I expect that a separate committee will need to plan for this because it is
too much of a burden to add to all of the other things that a local organizing
committee needs to do to get ready for the symposium.

After Amsat gets enough high altitude satellites in orbit we could hold
electronic symposia using high-speed digital uplinks and downlinks on Amsat
satellite assets. This is what Amsat has been working toward but we have a
long way to get there.

We could have a symposium every day of the year, but if we did would it just
turn into an audio version of amsat-bb? 

A big part of any symposium are the informal discussions that occur out in the
hallways, in the bar, hotel lobby, hospitality suite and the late night bull
sessions. Streaming the formal sessions over the internet or up to a satellite
does not convey the true flavor of the symposium, because you miss all of the
informal activities. People will tell you things face to face that they won't
tell you by e-mail or telephone or video conferencing. So even with electronic
conferencing, you will still need to physically attend a symposium once in a
while to absorb the true experience.

Dan Schultz N8FGV
Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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