CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and WALLINGFORD, Conn. – June 22, 2004 – Thousands of American troops stationed in Iraq were able to view their sons’ and daughters’ military high school graduation ceremonies, live, via the power and reach of the Internet. These “virtual” ceremonies were made possible by a combination of technologies donated by Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM), the global leader of distributed computing solutions and services, and VBrick Systems, the premier provider of digital video solutions.
During the month of June, fourteen U.S. military high schools located throughout Europe, including schools in Weisbaden, Heidelberg, and Ramstein, conducted their graduation ceremonies. Since many of the graduates’ parents are soldiers deployed abroad, they were unable to physically attend the ceremonies. Akamai and VBrick, in a special effort with the United States Army, teamed up to provide network bandwidth for audio and video streamed via VBrick Systems’ MPEG-4 encoders and delivered via Akamai’s globally distributed platform, allowing the deployed soldiers in the 1st Infantry Division and 1st Armored Division – two divisions most heavily impacted by deployments – to view the events in real-time on the Internet.
Each of the cameras at the fourteen American high schools on military bases throughout Europe were connected to a portable VBrick VBXcast encoder, which compressed the live video and audio from the graduation ceremonies into low-bandwidth MPEG-4 digital streams. These live video feeds were delivered worldwide over the Internet via the Akamai network. Any Iraq-based soldier in the 1st Infantry Division and 1st Armored Division with a computer and an Internet connection could log in and view the ceremonies with a standard Web-based plug-in application, like VBrick’s StreamPlayer.
Akamai’s globally distributed EdgePlatform of servers, with extensive coverage that spans 69 countries, securely delivered the graduation ceremonies in their entirety to the Iraq-based troops. The geographic proximity of Akamai’s servers ensured a high-quality, reliable viewing experience for the soldiers, who tuned in from a common “in theater” location. The ceremonies are now archived for the soldiers to view on demand.