The Republicans will give Web surfers live video of every podium speech during the Aug. 12-14 convention, as well as chats starting this week with Republican leaders, e-mail opportunities to respond to platform committee deliberations and pages of information on Bob Dole.
The site (http://www.rnc.org) "gives us an opportunity to reach 30 to 40 million Americans who are online," said Paul Luthringer, director of Internet new media programs for the Republican National Committee. "It really empowers folks who don't have to come to San Diego. They can participate from the comfort of their own home."
`LARGEST LIVE BROADCAST EVER'
The site will use CU-SeeMe technology from White Pine Software and Progressive Networks' RealAudio, both of which can be downloaded directly.
"We've been told that this is the largest live broadcast of video that's ever been done," said Mike Ullman, senior Internet specialist at AT&T. "We've done things like this, but never at this scale."
AT&T has set up 14 Unix workstations on two coasts, using multiple high-speed connections so that thousands of Web users can view the video at once.
AT&T, a convention sponsor, will give out free Internet software at the convention. The company helped the Republicans design the site but built the video network for itself with the idea of offering it to marketers.
The Democrats plan their own convention coverage on the Web but don't plan to use video.