If we learned one thing from 2020 it’s how hard it is to manage online virtual meetings. Finding the right platform that meets all your meeting needs and is affordable was almost impossible. Many found that no one platform had all the features they needed.
This is especially true for local governments and City Councils. The business of governing couldn’t stop when COVID19 changed everything. We heard from our customers and got to work creating a platform that makes your meeting management easier, more efficient and all-in-one.
AV Capture All is excited to announce new products and services to enhance your Meeting Management solution.
Our new Agenda Builder app will bring more efficiency to your meeting management process. Some features include:
Quick and easy creation of Agendas, Packets & Minutes
Fully customizable Templates
Approval tracking for individual Agenda Items with private notes
Related documents associated with Agenda Items
Integration with AV Capture recording & streaming software
We’re also excited to announce two new services – Recorded Media Transcription with Closed Captioning & Live (Real-Time) Transcription with Closed Captioning. Our new services will enhance the experience for hearing impaired constituents. Some features of these services include:
Recorded Media CC
Automatic speech-to-text transcription within minutes of Publishing
Closed Captions displayed in the media player during playback
Transcript file download available
Live Streaming CC
Speech-to-text transcription in real-time
Closed Captions displayed in the media player during the live stream
Advanced algorithms provide >98% accuracy in real-time
The Agenda Builder app and both Closed Captioning services are all included in our Premium subscription. They can also be purchased separately.
Whether your meetings are virtual, in-person, or a combination of both, the AV Capture Meeting Management solution can be easily integrated with any videoconferencing platform to easily capture, manage, and share your meetings online.
As our federal government negotiates the next coronavirus stimulus package, the pandemic is exacerbating inequities across America, especially in housing.
State and local governments face a devastating financial picture with millions of dollars lost in revenue as commerce halted in March, April and May. But what is coming next with the housing market is unprecedented.
The next massive hurdle Americans are facing is housing evictions. The eviction moratorium was recently lifted and landlords across the country, who could potentially default on their own mortgages, could evict tens of millions of renters amid a stalled economy.
Mortgage rates have spiraled downward as economic news has gone from depressing to disastrous. The average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped on August 4th to a stunning 2.81%, according to Mortgage News Daily.
“I don’t think people realize the massive effect COVID19 is having on our housing and economic markets, and what the trickle-down effect of that will be. Not only is the rental market affected, but the single-family housing market and the economy as a whole is also looking at a catastrophic situation,” says Summer Johnson, senior mortgage officer for Washington State Employees Credit Union. “We are facing the 90-day mark and evictions of those out of work will be another major factor contributing to a financial crisis that will affect other industries.”
The residential construction sector is a part of the trickle-down effect. The forecast for global construction growth in 2020 has been revised from 3.1 percent down to 0.5 percent. The construction supply chain has been highly impacted, generating project slippage and/or extra costs.
For renters, the outlook is grim. According to analysis from Stout Risius Ross, an investment consulting firm, almost half of the rental tenants across the country are in danger of being served eviction notices. Low-wage workers and people of color are especially vulnerable.
The pandemic is exacerbating inequities across America, especially in housing.
For homeowners, about 8% of mortgages are currently in forbearance. This summer is one of the best times for home buyers and the worst for many renters.
Another trickle-down effect is on revenues local governments collect from housing. If renters are evicted, there’s no revenue coming in for water and utilities. Local governments collected $509 billion from property taxes. This was is the largest single source of tax revenue. Taxes on homes, land, farms, and other forms of real estate make up an important revenue source for state and local governments.
Property taxes were the leading category of revenue for state and local governments, yielding 34% of tax collections. Property taxes help finance local government services, especially education. Indeed, property taxes directly targeted to education funds alone are responsible for approximately one-third of local education financing.
Losing these revenue streams puts a further burden on local government’s ability to provide services on which citizens rely. One of those services is the mandated public meeting local governments must do. Keeping citizens engaged and informed is more important than ever.
AV Capture All provides platforms for local governments to live stream public meetings at an affordable price. AV Capture– Legislative Solution is used to record Audio and Video while integrating Agendas, Minutes, and Related Documents. The document content is synchronized with the Audio/Video stream, then indexed and immediately searchable when published online. Once published, staff and citizens can view any part of the Audio/Video-on-demand, while following along with the synchronized Agenda, Minutes and Related Documents. Live Streaming is also integrated into the platform to allow staff and citizens who cannot attend the meeting in-person to view online from home.
AV Capture All is here to ensure the gears of government continue to work and the public is informed.
As we now enter the 6th month of quarantine and social distancing, our cell phones have been a lifeline to keep us working, in touch, informed, and provide a level of security.
For local governments, this has put a strain on their wireless bandwidth as more business is conducted via wireless phones, tablets, and laptops. As city governments adopt a virtual council meeting environment, either in whole or in part, being able to keep connectivity with citizens, has become crucial.
What has quickly become clear is that many local governments are facing how to keep up with the technology demand by going virtual. Smaller local governments do not have the bandwidth necessary to work remotely and provide all the services mandated.
This is highlighted by recent events and political protests that typically overload available capacity on cellular networks. To add to the stress on cellular towers, sudden peaks in data usage that takes place in disasters and crowed events further causes 3G, 4G, and LTE cellular networks to fail.
Public safety and emergency management are critical functions of the state government. In response to emergency and disaster events, access to reliable communication is vital. In emergency events, cellular network operators (such as AT&T, Verizon, and more) request, “Customers to use text or email to free up voice capacity for public safety officials on the scene.”
Because current telecommunications networks simply can’t cope with the massive increase in call volume in a disaster or crowded event, first-responders and those in public safety and emergency management must be prepared to use alternative forms of communications.
Simply put, mobile wireless networks become unreliable during and after a disaster or emergency situation. There are several different places where congestion can happen. Networks consist of different technologies, different levels and different mobile switching centers that may cover a large area.
But help may be on the way.
The newest generation in wireless networking is called Fifth generation (5G) wireless technology and it can open the door to transforming and enhancing public services right at the time we need it most.
The fifth generation of wireless networks represents a major boost in both capacity and speed that will help ease the burden on current systems and offer vital improvements to public services. But this technology is both costly and controversial even as states and local governments begin to legislate and regulate around 5G.
It is hard to imagine how a business or government will survive without access to the technology we need to stay connected and informed. Virtual meetings have become essential to keep businesses and governments running. As we look into the future, it is evident that investing in building strong communication networks, in particular 5G, will be as crucial as ever to American safety. Fifth generation wireless technology has the potential to reboot how the U.S. government achieves many of its critical missions.
5G Benefits State and Local Governments
When any city faces an emergency, they must quickly communicate with the public. When you factor in the current virtual environment, more and more devices are consuming more and more data which can strain bandwidth, slow services, and drop connections.
The potential upside to greater capacity and network speed is huge. Surges in cellular network use during emergency events are less likely to slow or prevent vital communications between citizens and first responders. 5G will be the underlying infrastructure to help usher in fully autonomous vehicles, intelligent public safety cameras, and connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices used throughout city infrastructure. Jurisdictions with 5G networks are likely to attract tech-savvy residents and businesses that leverage those connections for new digital business models and reach new customers.
However, none of this happens without the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) streamlining unnecessary regulatory roadblocks to small cell deployment, as well as keeping its vital spectrum auctions on schedule.