Tuesday, January 26, 2016

HSPAN: Capitol On Demand

The Hawai‘i State Legislature and ‘Ōlelo Community Media unveiled a new statewide on-demand channel called HSPAN that will significantly increase the coverage of Capitol activities available to the public.

HSPAN – the Hawai‘i Statewide Public Access Network – was created to provide cable subscribers throughout the State with expanded access to the Legislature’s meetings and is already available for viewing. In addition to legislative hearings, the State executive offices, executive branch agencies, and the Judiciary will have access to provide content on HSPAN.

New remote-controlled Sony HD cameras have been installed in 16 conference rooms, both the House and Senate Chambers and the Capitol Auditorium. This will allow for multiple hearings to be captured simultaneously and distributed on HSPAN, Oceanic Time Warner Cable’s digital Channel 50.

The new statewide on-demand channel is in addition to the live coverage currently provided by Capitol TV, which airs on ‘Ōlelo Channel 49 and 54, and other community access stations across the State: Hō‘ike on Kauai, ‘Akakū on Maui and Nā Leo TV on the Big Island. Capitol TV is a State-contracted production company.

The new service will offer Hawai‘i residents significantly increased access to coverage of legislative activities. Committee hearings, floor sessions and any special sessions in the chambers, auditorium and hearing rooms can be archived on HSPAN for on-demand viewing.

‘Ōlelo partnered with Oceanic and the State of Hawai‘i to design and build the necessary infrastructure:

  • Oceanic provided fiber optic cable throughout the Capitol to connect all 16 conference rooms’ audio, video and data lines for the remote camera controls to the control room 
  • The clerk’s office and information technology staff designed and executed the recording and uploading workflow to be fully supported by their departments 
  • ‘Ōlelo developed the master plan for the design, purchase and roll-out of the hardware and software; installed over 30 Sony HD cameras; and designed and installed the upgraded control room
“The Senate has long been an advocate of government transparency and has strived to increase public participation in the legislative process,” said Senator J. Kalani English, Senate majority leader. “HSPAN follows our initiative to effect good governance and allows for our constituents, particularly on the neighbor islands, unfiltered accessibility to legislative action at the Capitol.”

“Our House members were very pleased with the initiative taken by ‘Ōlelo to provide this additional service to the public. It ties in and closely aligns with our ongoing efforts to provide more transparency in the Legislature and, more importantly, to make it easier for voters to get involved in their government and the process of governing,” said House Speaker, Rep. Joseph M. Souki. “My congratulations to ‘Ōlelo for this and its other efforts on behalf of the people of Hawai‘i.”

“Two years ago, the Legislature, the State of Hawai‘i Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs and ‘Ōlelo embarked on a project to provide gavel-to-gavel coverage for both the Senate and the House of Representatives,” explains Sanford Inouye, president and CEO of ‘Ōlelo. “The people of Hawai‘i can proudly say that we have a government that is significantly more accessible and transparent.”

For more information, visit www.olelo.org.

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