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[vox] [rsteding@tecwise.com: The Linux Public Broadcasting Network]
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[vox] [rsteding@tecwise.com: The Linux Public Broadcasting Network]

This might be interesting...   (Warning, kind of long and tedious ;) )


Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2001 19:50:35 -0700
From: Raymond Steding <rsteding@tecwise.com>
Subject: The Linux Public Broadcasting Network


I host the Linux Labs User Group in Van Nuys, CA. I'm sending this info
out with hopes of finding other groups that may like to particitpate in
the creation of a media network for Linux.


Date: 09/25/2001

Reason for the existence of LPBN

Independent streaming servers may be linked in
such a way that residences, businesses, community
groups and public organizations can share
bandwidth to get their video and audio streamed over the
Internet. A single low cost machine of $1000 can
hold 320GB of data or approximately 3,428 hours
of continuous programming (142 days!) at a rate
of an 80Kbps stream. Bandwidth continues to
increase as prices decline. The physical
environment for a video broadcasting network currently

Content in the public domain is readily
available. Additionally LPBN will work with PBS groups and
Government to acquire additional content. Since
the network is the "Linux" public broadcasting
network the first attempts made to gather
content and participation will go out to the thousands of
Linux groups worldwide. Content may also come
from independent film producers and even home
videos. It will come from everywhere.

The cultural implications of the network are
numerous. The network will allow common people to be
heard and seen. Local sports events and local
community video and music events may become a
system within the network. If a father wants to
watch his son's or daughter's sports event in
California while on a job in Chicago he may well
be logging onto the future Linux Public
Broadcasting Network's directory to watch it.
The network has a greater degree of granularity than
any network to date in that it allows the
average person to be the actor, producer, owner and

Imagine a PBS where you have video-on-demand for
free and with no pledge drives. That is how
LPBN is likely to unfold. The main differences
between PBS and LPBN is that the content comes
from everywhere and LPBN is interactive.

LPBN will become an audio/video network with
more material than any other - the available content
is massive and growing.

A private broadcasting network owned and
operated by the people and for the people may change
what a person watches when they come home from
work. It may change perception of the world we
live in, from a view created by a monopoly
controlled media that sells marketable products along
with opinion and morality to a view that we are
a society of unique individuals each with our different
tastes and talents.

The educational implications of LPBN offer an
equally broad range of possibilities as the cultural
potentials. Instructional class-type content is
currently available and in public domain for most every
educational subject. With an efficient directory
service lessons may be available at the click of a
mouse. We will watch content such as videos of
Linux topics presented at Linux group meetings by
guest speakers. Soon LPBN will bring interesting
video of all types to the net.

LPBN will provide the technical, managerial and
support services for optimizing the shared resources
of bandwidth and content. Currently the network
has 7 participating servers.

The servers may be any streaming web server.

The most viewed content will become the most
available content unless this method of prioritization
proves faulty.

Three rules govern the content:

No advertising or commercials are allowed on the
network. Sexually explicit material can't be put up
because the network is public. Copyright
compliance must be verified for all content on the network.

In other words, most everything is able to enter
the network.

Currently content is viewed by a community
center group and LPBN before moving onto the
streaming network. In the future it will be by
online committee review.

We have the Darwin Streaming server, Real and
Icecast servers running at this time although only
real is broadcasting video.

What LPBN means to us: "Freedom of the Press"
(Freedom "from" the press) - whatever.

Content on LPBN is interactive. If the amount of
content is sufficient and covers topics of all
imaginable interests then each persons
individual freedom will be enhanced by finding a reflection
point within LPBN. The viewer doesn't have to
see anything not of his or her interest; is not forced to
view subject matter deemed worthy of bringing in
advertising fees; and is not limited to watching
programming controlled by an elite decision
body. LPBN cannot be used, by the nature of its
structure, for propaganda, advertising, social
conditioning, or for monetary gain. LPBN is simply a
public network of every public domain audio
recording, video recording and live broadcast that may
be viewed at any time by anyone with access to
the Internet. Everyone has the chance to be heard
and seen on LPBN. The network is yours. You own
and operate it if you choose to be a member.

Why LPBN works.

During the proliferation of Internet access
Telcos quickly optimized bandwidth use and oversold the
amount of bandwidth they provided end users.
Since the total combined bandwidth in use at peak
times was only a fraction of total bandwidth
subscribed to, Telcos began selling the unused
bandwidth to new customers. ISPs would advertise
bandwidth for dail-up users at 56Kbps. Only a
portion of the dial-up users would be online at
any particular time and the ISPs never had to have
enough bandwidth to provide dedicated 56Kbps to
each of their subscribers. They over-subscribed
their bandwidth to the tune of 20 to 1. ISPs
would buy say...1MB and use that to provide 56K
dail-up services to 400 subscribers instead of
20. DSL providers have been known to
over-subscribe up to 50 to 1.

Assuming that video and audio content will be
viewed in a manner comparable to other Internet
content, we may also assume that each Internet
server participating as a node on LPBN will bring
with it no less than five times its available
upstream bandwidth due to statistical usage and bandwidth
optimization. The situation of adding servers is
similar but opposite that of the telcos


Multicast routers allow one-to-many connections.
Soon the Internet will have multicast routers
throughout. This means that a single upstream
video broadcast will serve as many as hundreds or
thousands of simultaneous client connections.
Even TV stations are expected to broadcast over the
Internet versus their current broadcasts through
the air waves. Multicast routers currently provide
throughput to about 40% of all end user

Bandwidth to end users is increasing. Wireless
802.11b standards are allowing the public to create
networks capable of 11Mbps upstream and
downstream for as little as a $150 one time fee. Direct
ethernet connections are being offered by
companies such as Extreme Networks, Riverstone
Networks and Yipes. These competing technologies
will force monopolies such as SBC
communications and AOL Time Warner to offer
competitive Internet access as well. As bandwidth
to end users increases, the quality of LPBN's
video broadcasts improve proportionately.

Many issues need addressed during the creation
of an attractive co-broadcasting network. A
technical workgroup will be formed from
volunteers. Soon we will begin using the web utilities at
Source Forge. Please email us if you would like
to help.

For the success of LPBN we need participation.
This upcoming week workshops begin at the Tom
Bradley Youth and Family Center in Los Angeles.
The first weekly workshop will be held Monday
September 17, 2001 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Four
people have signed up. Live Broadcasting of
the workshops and a virtual workshop with
videoconferencing will soon allow web-based
participation. Despite personal insecurities and
amateur technical abilities this project begins with
anticipation that talent and expertise shall
come to the rescue as the scope of LPBN becomes

Doors will open where currently only walls
exist. Pathways to new methods and technologies will
arise. As isolated servers begin connecting and
sharing content, a super media for the benefit of
people and communities everywhere, will come to
life. We are looking at a machine…a powerful
complex mechanism that contains lighted strands,
three dimensional grids of international fiber optic
connectivity…volumes of visual information more
numerous than the number of books in all the
libraries…this resource of knowledge and life
sits idle before us. Come join in. Share the energy of
being and participate in LPBN. Rarely do we near
a treasure of this magnitude. Imagine the
possibilities as we gently guide existing
network structures to form the Linux Public Broadcasting

Hopefully I've shown that the components of a
truly wonderful broadcasting network are already in
place. And that the time for the birth of this
granular, commercial-free, network is now. Not by
coincidence do the first meetings begin at a
community center. Community centers are the likely hubs
through which to establish a sharing of
resources. The second "least resistant to connectivity" groups
on the planet that also happen to have
concentrated levels of technical expertise are the Linux User
Groups. LPBN has not been conceived as a wishful
endeavor. We may initially be perceived as
moving too slow but will quickly reach critical

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