HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – With the right link, anyone with a Common Access Card-enabled computer can set up or access an exclusive livestream capability as part of the Air Force network.
Access to livestream capability through the Global Content Delivery System has been available since 2012. The innovative contract provides multiple services for Air Force applications, including streaming, content delivery, network storage, firewall security and single-sign-on login security.
As part of the system and the streaming capability, any military customer can work with the Defense Information Systems Agency GCDS program to set up a broadcast or distribute content to specific audiences, targeting access to the event.
“GCDS is kind of a Swiss Army knife we use to solve multiple problems,” said 2nd Lt. Steven Cunningham, the Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks Directorate program manager at Hanscom AFB, assigned to GCDS. “Most users would never know that when they access the portal, the information they’re getting is actually through GCDS, not a server. Creating that proxy between the user and the server increases security, but it also means we can provide more services.”
There are currently 24 Department of Defense mission partners using the GCDS streaming services broadcasting to more than 4,800 unique viewers every month across the network. So far in 2018, the Air Force has broadcasted more than 50 livestream events via the GCDS platform ranging from town hall events to virtual training webinars and the Medal of Honor ceremony for Tech. Sgt. John Chapman.
The Air National Guard also uses GCDS to broadcast the 24/7 Warrior Network to all wings enterprise-wide.
Customers looking to broadcast an event can work with GCDS to configure and deliver a high definition stream from their encoding software, making their local laptop or studio the broadcast point. Setting up the livestream service requires the user to have access to an encoder device or software, a video source to feed into the encoder and a NIPRNet accessible network to transmit the video broadcast to the GCDS streaming platform. After configuring, they can distribute the link to anyone globally who would like to watch the event.
Viewers would then be able to view the livestream from a specific URL on NIPRNet or SIPRNet provided by the broadcaster using an internet browser. Livestreaming is included within the annual contract of GCDS at no cost. With it, Air Force organizations can set up high-quality video broadcasting on a connection as low as 500 kilobytes per second.
To discuss how to set up your own instance of the GCDS streaming service, contact DISA Mission Partner Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org.