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July 4th Parade Goes Live on the Web - Via Community Event Embedded Reporters and Wireless Technology from Apple Computer

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Small Town's July 4th Parade Goes Live on the Web - Via Community Event Embedded Reporters and Wireless Technology from Apple Computer

ASHLAND, OR (PRWEB) July 1, 2004 -- Ashland ISP's Open Door Networks and B.ISP a division of Project A announced today that, in concert with the Ashland Fiber Network (AFN) and Apple Computer, they will utilize the AFN's cutting-edge technology and city-wide adoption to provide a live, multi-camera Webcast of the city's popular July 4 parade.

Internet users throughout the world, including even those watching the parade itself, will be able to "tune in" a variety of locations along the parade route as the parade passes.

The effort is made possible through the combination of technologies and access. The AFN provides the city-wide, high-speed backbone over which the broadcast will originate. Layered on top of that backbone is the "Ashland Unwired" wireless infrastructure, which enables volunteer "roving reporters" with laptops and video cameras to utilize high-speed wireless connections to the AFN to transmit video streams back to a "head-end" server at Open Door Network. The high-end Xserve server, provided for the event by Apple Computer, then coordinates the streams and makes them available through a Web site at Open Door.

Users "tune in" to the broadcast by using their Web browser to go to  where they are presented with small snapshots of each of the live locations. By clicking on a particular snapshot, users can then view the actual live video feed underlying that snapshot. Any Macintosh or Windows computer with QuickTime 6 installed should be able to view the broadcast, although a "broadband" Internet connection (256 Kbps or higher) is highly recommended. Ashland viewers watching the parade can tune in through the same Ashland Unwired infrastructure being used for the broadcast, and can then see what's happening at other parade locations while watching the parade itself. Recorded feeds from the parade will also be made available after the event.

Jim Teece, President and CEO of Project A states, "This could not happen if it were not for the heavy lifting provided by Open Door Networks. Alan and his team have spent months getting the components tested and debugged, all while feverishly launching their latest in web innovation, 'Envision: a new way to experience the Web.'

"We are using off the shelf products and services to get this to work, its amazing how it all fits together.

"The idea is to mark July 4th as the official launch day for a new level of communication, 'Community Event Embedded Reporting' will be the next layer of 'news' or 'reality tv' via the web. Using just a laptop and a camera, citizens can record news and broadcast it live in pretty decent quality, instantly. Actually there is a 10 second delay due to the encoding process.

"In a community like Ashland, where the city has made the infrastructure investment of broadband cable modems and fiber optics throughout for its citizens, and business community and companies provide free wireless access to their customers, Ashland Unwired, its relatively easy to have 'Community Event Embedded Reporting.'

"People ask us why we are doing this. We have two reasons. One, Because it's cool. Two, because we like to show the future, today. Years ago we launched the first wireless StarBucks on the Planet. We are very proud of that."

A test stream is immediately available on Open Door's site through which users can check to make sure their computer is ready to tune in the event. Users wishing to volunteer as "roving reporters" for the event should also check the site for what's required and how they can sign up. Open Door and Project A will have a booth in Lithia Park after the parade to discuss and further show off the technology with community members. The same technology will also be used in the Technology Pavilion at the Jackson County Fair later that month, making selected fair events viewable by the public at large.

Open Door Networks and Project A have a history of introducing new technologies to the Ashland community. Both were involved with the development and rollout of the AFN, and both created and sponsor Ashland Unwired ( ), one of the earliest implementations of the increasingly popular "Wi-Fi" wireless Internet movement. Now the two are combining to present what may be the first ever live, multi-camera Webcast of a July 4 parade in the country.

About the organizations involved
Open Door Networks, Inc. has been a leading provider of Internet solutions for the Macintosh since 1995. Open Door is a city-certified provider for the Ashland Fiber Network, co-sponsor of the Ashland Unwired program and creator of Envision: a new way to experience the Web.

Project A, Inc. is an Ashland based software and Internet Technology Company, offering high quality website development, custom software and consulting services to regional, national and international clients.

BISP is a city-certified AFN provider and division of Project A that offers low cost, high speed internet for
Businesses in Ashland.

Project A is proud sponsor of several community projects including
The Ashland Unwired project, , the Tech Pavilion @ the Jackson County Fair, , Ashland’s community calendar and FreeBAY at , Ashland’s answer to helping keep solid waste out of the land fill.
541-488-1702 x 108
800-859-7639 x108

The Ashland Fiber Network (“AFN”) is the community owned Cable TV and High-Speed Internet services provider in Ashland.

AFN High Speed Internet is a true Open Access Internet offering a choice of eight local Internet Services Providers (“ISP’s”), featuring the fastest and most affordable high-speed cable modem Internet service in the area. With the inception of Ashland Unwired, Project A, Open Door Networks, and their Ashland Fiber Network, Ashlanders proudly lay claim to being the most wired, and now most unwired small city in America.

AFN Cable TV features programming selected by a Citizen's Programming Selection Committee with cable TV lineups created especially for Ashland by Ashland residents. AFN Cable TV features 4 Tier Levels of Cable TV Services starting as low as $8.25/month, making AFN Cable TV the best entertainment value in Ashland.

Supporting and subscribing to the Ashland Fiber Network's Cable TV and High Speed Internet services makes community sense as revenues generated by AFN remain in our community to help our local economy. Of course AFN's small town, neighborly customer service staff makes connecting up to AFN's services a pleasurable experience.

Ashland is truly a unique city to live and do business.

Jim Teece
President & CEO
Project A, Inc.
"Solutions Engineered with Passion"
541-488-1702 x151
541-488-1851 fax
541-301-5608 cell

Media Contact
Jim Teece, Project A, or 541-301-5608

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