Interactive communication network is one of the basic ingredients and integral parts of overall building block of electronic academics (e-Academia) environment. Higher Education Commission to capitalize on the investments and efforts made to date in setting up campus-wide ICT Infrastructure and institutions and to strengthen internal as well as external communication/network successfully initiated and rolled out a project of setting up video conference facility at each public sector higher education institution which is further led to the National Interactive Distant Learning Program (NIDLP) followed by Virtual Education Project, Pakistan.
Video Conferencing is a powerful multi-media tool that improves communication and increases an organization’s productivity. It is a cost-effective way to capture these benefits without being required to travel and attend. The project aimed at bringing universities in Pakistan closer and to interact and collaborate through IP based Video Conferencing System, so that students of such universities, who are not in a position to benefit from high profiled teachers/ resources, may have the opportunity to learn from them, share their ideas and views to enhance their capabilities.
National Video Conferencing Network (NVCN) is an umbrella arrangement and facilitation to all public sector higher education institutions of Pakistan through provisioning of state-of-the-art purpose-built video conference facility.
- National Video Conferencing Network (NVCN) Services
The HEC’s Video Conferencing Network with footprints across the country offers numerous advanced services and features. The services are provided through a dedicated high speed academic and research network, that is PERN (Pakistan Education Research Network). The underlying network provides 24/7 availability, dual diversely routed internet/ intranet connections, high reliability and security. The Video Conferencing Network currently provides the following services.
- Purpose built e-Classroom Environment
Full-fledged purpose built video conferencing class room facility is available in each public sector University/DAI in the country. However, at the HEC Head Office in Islamabad and Regional Offices located in Peshawar, Lahore, Quetta and Karachi the same facility is available in meeting room environment.
- Point-to-Point Video Conference
This service offering is for one-to-one video interaction between two (02) video conferencing sites on the PERN network or on some other network allowing VoIP traffic or a foreign site outside the country.
- Multipoint Video Conference
This service involves more than two sites connected in a single conference. All VC sites in a multipoint service will be connected through HEC network to the Multipoint Control Unit (MCU) for bridging purpose. However, foreign sites either from within the country or outside country will also be connected to MCU for the service provisioning.
- Bridging Services
Bridging Services are available for the organizations/ users who only require connecting their own private video conferencing sites through HEC MCU and do not require any of the sites under HEC Video Conferencing Network.
- Recording Services
The centralized service for event Recording is available on demand and prior intimation for all users on charge basis as applicable. The recorded events are normally placed on Content Server with appropriate access privileges as defined by the Organizer. A DVD version of the event recording can also be provided on request.
- Streaming Services
The recorded events are also offered broadcasting and streaming features on request of Organizer in advance. The centralized archived library is managed and maintained in a standardized format for easy searching and playing back facility for the users.
- Recorded Events Editing
The editing services for an edited version of recorded event(s) are also available on request and on charge basis as applicable and the final edited version is made available to the Organizer. The same is maintained on the Content Server for streaming on demand, if allowed. The editing may include the following services;
- Removing any irrelevant/ unwanted recording from the recorded media
- Converting the recording format into light weight format while preserving the best
- Possible quality of both audio & video recording.
- Remove any material from the recording which is not conforming to the standards both technical and ethical/moral etc.
- Recorded Content Access
The Content Management Server allows formulating the users, groups, categories and policies and so allowing setting up access privilege as appropriate as defined by the Organizer. This also ensures the contents’ fast and easy search, access, play back, while guaranteeing the required system doctrine for the security and auditing.
- Consultancy Services
The HEC also offers consultancy services through its video conferencing team to the organizations interested and intending to;
- Establish a private video conferencing facility at their premises
- Provide training to the staff involved with video conferencing facility
- Join the Video Conferencing Network of HEC for participations in academic events