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					Community Radio for Social
     Development
            Balachandran C.
             Technical Architect
    Gram Vaani Community Media Pvt. Ltd.


              AIT, Bangkok
    Community Radio Stations
     Radio Stations that cater to the needs of groups of people
      with shared interests.
     Mandate of being for the people.
     Typically, they serve the local community – say, a group of
      villages within 20 km radius of the station.
     They try to fulfill needs in public health, economic, social
      and cultural spheres.




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    Community Radio Stations
     Health
        Lectures on Hygiene, Information on Immunization drives, Women’s
          health
       Economic needs
        Job opportunities in the nearby cities, Provide knowledge on locally
          dominant economic activities (agriculture, weaving, fishing)
       Political
        Local governance, Political debates
       Cultural
        Preserving local dialects, art forms, oral tradition
       Educational

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    Distinguishing Features
     Mandate of serving the people sets the agenda
       Profitability takes the back seat
     Restricted footprint for a given station
     Community members play a major role in content creation.
     Reliance on volunteers.
     Rules and regulations tend to enforce these aspects in some
      countries. (e.g. India)




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    Effectiveness In Rural Areas
     Speaks the local language
     Illiteracy is not a barrier
     Physically accessible. Cheaper to access.
     Employs local people, hence easier to approach them
     Rural people are more likely to be heard
     Access to radio sets in households or at the local restaurant /
      public place.
       Mobile phones come with inbuilt radio receivers
     Quick and easy access to the listeners during emergencies


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     CR Movement
      Nature of the movement varies across countries
      Three examples
        Nepal
        Thailand
        India




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     Nepal
      One official language and about 90 more recognized regional
       languages.
      There are currently about 150 active stations, which cover a
       significant part of Nepal.
      No legal distinction between CR Stations and commercial
       stations.
      Unifying theme is to promote social justice and social
       change.




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     Nepal – Radio Sagarmatha
      Radio Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) setup in 1997.
        First in South Asia
      Broadcasts in Nepali as well as many ethnic languages
        Newari, Maithali, Tamang…
      Emphasizes political freedom
        Freedom of expression
        Right to information for the citizen
      Temporarily closed due to airing politically sensitive
       interviews.
      Significant role in pushing Nepal towards democracy.
        Nepal became a Federal Democratic Republic in 2008
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     Nepal – Radio Sagarmatha
      Very active, broadcasting for 18 hours daily, from 5.00am to
       11.00pm.
      Transmitting power has gone up from 100w to 1kw.
      They have established a network of about 50 CR stations.
      They claim a regular listenership of 2.5 million people, with
       programs being relayed to even more




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     Nepal – Radio Sagarmatha
      Outgrown its role of serving the local community.
      They are very much still a CR Station.
      Listeners are invited to walk-in to the station, and interact
       with the producers.
      Palpable impact on Nepalese society
        National Politics
        Policy making
        Sensitizing society to issues like gender inequality
        Rescue and rehabilitation efforts – fires, floods and landslides
         (2002, 2008)

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     Thailand
      Constitution of 1997 laid the foundation
      Number of CR Stations picked up after 2002
      The agency responsible for distributing broadcast rights was
       not yet setup, leaving a bureaucratic loophole.
      Currently estimated to be more than 3000
      Predominantly rural
      Political developments are expected to affect their
       functioning.



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     Thailand
      Made use of by environmental campaigns, anti-mining
         campaigns in Udon Thani
        Rural empowerment
        Political mobilization, Espousing democratic values
        There are anecdotes about how it has spread goodwill across
         the Thai-Laoitian border
        They have been effective in supporting minority ethnic
         communities, by speaking their language and voicing their
         opinions.
        Emergency response and rehabilitation

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     India
      First laws in 2002
        Recognized Educational Institutions only. (Campus Radio)
      By 2006
        NGOs and Civil Society Organizations with a good track record
        NGOs must have been active for at least 3 years.
        Not allowed to broadcast news.
        Limitation on funding
      Currently, about 50 GoPs (Grant of Permission) have been
       issued, the vast majority to educational institutions.
      Country with 18 major languages, thousands of dialects
       spread over 600,000 villages.
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     India
      Namma Dhwani (2002) CMC
        SHGs
        Narrowcasting – cassettes, loud speakers, cable connection to
         classroom, direct to home
        Put pressure on local government to solve problems related to
         drinking water, drainage and street lights
        Women’s empowerment
      First FM CR stations setup in 2008,
        Radio Sangham (AP) – run by local women’s collective
        Radio Bundelkhand (MP) setup by the NGO - Development
         Alternatives.

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     Radio Bundelkhand
      Financial support from NGO
      Staff
        Couple of people with professional experience
        Reporters - young people, volunteers
      Received training on interviewing techniques – not much on
       the technical aspects of content production
      Subsistence agriculture practiced in the region. Programmes
       on agriculture are popular
      Programmes on lives of people in the community, culture
       and heritage, job opportunities, Bundeli Idol
      “We are not investigative reporters!”
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     CR Movement in Developed World
      Australia (450)
      Sweden (150) out of 290 local communities
      UK (150) in 5 years
      Pacifica Network in USA (150)
      Canada (90)


      Shared characteristics – Access, Volunteerism, Diversity,
       Localism, Independence, Public Media



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     Challenges
      Policy
        Bureaucracy in licensing
      Financial sustainability
        Capital, Operating
      Training
        Technical, Content creation
      Ownership & Accountability
        NGO vs. Community
        How it influences the station – Voice, Agenda



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     Operational Challenges
      Sustaining volunteers
      Maintaining Equipment
      Unreliable Infrastructure
        Internet connection
        Power Supply
      Quality sources of content
        Language barrier
      Lack of co-operation from local government bodies
      Vested interests


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     Social Challenges
      Inclusion / Exclusion based on narrow definitions of
       community
      Organizational Structure of the station affects its direction
        Who has a voice in steering its direction?
      Partisanship – ethnic, religious, casteism
      Local culture
        Medium used purely for entertainment




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     How can technology help?
      Participation
        Increased
        Equitable – rich/poor, literate/illiterate
      Funding
        Enabling commerce like an application for a market place
        Suitable commercials
      Interactivity




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     How can technology help?
      Bring CR closer to the people
        Speakerphone booths – town halls, schools
        Debates, games
        Call-ins to the station
        IVR for accessing content and leaving opinions/questions
        Use internet for live streaming, offline access
          Long distance Wi-Fi links, KioskNet

      Need to keep it low cost!




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      Speaker-phone booths in different areas and
      villages                              • Discussions
                          Panchayat
                                            • Antakshari
                                            • Games
             School                         • Inter-village
                                            communication
   Meena
 community


                          Gurjar
                        community



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     Gramin Radio Inter - Networking
     System (GRINS)
     Architecture




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     Design Criteria
      Fault tolerance
        Hardware and software will fail
        Rest of the system should work
        Try our best to recover
      Flexibility
        There is no unique set of requirements applicable to all CR
         Stations
        System should provide the best performance for available
         resources
      Geographical distribution of resources
        Connect to other CR stations, content providers, maybe even
         the local cable operator
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     Service Oriented Architecture

                    Widgets


                    Providers

                    Network


                    Services



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     IPC   Controller Machine


                  Server


           Node Stub       Node



             Service Machine

                Server Stub

                  Node
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     IPC
      Any addressable node implements IPCNode, has a unique
       name
      Synchronous messages – RPC
      Asynchronous messages
      Persistent messages




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     Sample Configuration
                      UI Machine
              Controller    Resource Manager

            Playout Service      UI Service

                Servlet          IPCServer


                          SBC
           Preview Service    Archiver Service

            Library Service     Index Service

           Monitor Service         Servlet
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     Resource Manager
      Availability of resources
        Resource Table
          Resource Name -> (Type, MachineID, State, List of holders, Persistent
           Requests)
        Resource Reservation
        Resource Interests – Notification
      Link Monitor




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     Services
     Service         Function                     Dependency
     Audio           Play audio files             GStreamer
     Archiver        Record streams to file       GStreamer
     Index           Plain text search            Lucene
     Library         Database, Media life cycle   MySQL, Servlets
     Mic & Monitor   Routes audio between SCs     GStreamer
     UI              Graphical Interface          Java Swing
     Telephony       Handle telephone calls       Asterisk PBX




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         Playing Media

 Playlist Controller           Playout Provider          IPC Server                  Audio Service            GStreamer

              API: play(file-id)     Create IPC
                                      message

                                          PLAY file-id        Forward the
                                                               message
                                                                      PLAY file-id        Create session and
                                                                                          Invoke GStreamer

                                                                                            API: play(filename)
                                                                                                                    SUCCESS
                                                                                                                       or
                                                                                               return value         FAILURE
                                                                  STATUS code
                                        STATUS code
            API: Callback(status)




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        Archiving Media

     Controller             Archiver Provider      IPC Server             Archiver Service      Index Service

             API: startArchive()   Create IPC
                                    message

                                     START ARCHIVE      Forward the
                                                         message

                                                           START ARCHIVE         Invoke GStreamer


                                                                                   API: updateIndex



                                                            STATUS code
                                     STATUS code
           API: Callback(status)




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     Robustness
      Need
        Rural setting – lack of experts, difficult to reach
      Approach
        Error Avoidance
          Testing, Extensive Logging, Log shipping for continuous monitoring
        Error Isolation
          Errors in one service should not affect functionality of others
        Proactive Checking
          Heartbeats
        Diagnostics for hardware
        Error Recovery

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     Diagnostics
      Network connections
        Ping
      Audio connections
        Check for audio levels
        Distortions
      Give feedback (graphical) to the user.




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     Error Recovery
      Hardware Errors
        Encourage users to use diagnostics before using the system
      Network disruption
        Timely detection
        Important messages – Persistent messages
      Service crashes
        Wrapper scripts to bring them back up
        Registration IDs for instances help in maintaining state
         consistency
        Notifications
      Content
43      Backup & restore
     Performance




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     Hardware Configuration
                  SBC




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     Audio Errors
      Noise
      Clipping
        Adjust gains
      Clicks




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     Audio Click




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     ALSA Parameters
      Sample Rate
        8kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz
      Period Size
        Size (in bytes) of data written to the soundcard at a time.
      Buffer Size
        Size of buffer expressed in the number of Period Size worth of
         data
                                                     Buffer Size
      Interface type
        hw:0
        plughw:0
        default:0                        Latency Size

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         Data Path
          Archiving

           Sound Card          ALSA             GStreamer


          Playout
            GStreamer          ALSA             Sound Card


          Monitor

     SoundCard        ALSA   GStreamer   ALSA          SoundCard

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     Audio Quality
                          Audio Quality
                                Clicks
                                Latency




        IRQ Rates            CPU Utilization   Buffer Size

       Period Size           Encoding
               Archiver      Resampling        Archiver
               Playout                         Playout
               Monitor                         Monitor
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     Audio Quality
      40ms in delay insensitive streams
      10ms in delay sensitive streams




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     Experience at Bundelkhand
      Playlist management
      Content management
      Validating fault tolerance




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     Multiplanar Inter-Networking
     Platform (MINP)




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     More Than Just Radio
      Dial-in to the station for live commenting
      IVR system for offline commenting, and to access archived
       content
      Text messaging for personal messages, audience feedback,
       and polls/surveys
      Internet connectivity for live streaming and offline sharing of
       content




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                    Uni-directional     Bi-directional
    One-to-one                         Mobile phones
    One-to-many    Television, Radio

                                       Community media




Leverage the existing infrastructure of radio, cable
 TV, and telephone networks to deliver interactive
          community media applications
     Uniplanar applications

 Communication planes         Uniplanar applications


 Internet plane                  Email

                                 Voice communication,
 Telephone plane                 SMS

 Radio plane                     Radio broadcast




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     Multiplanar applications

 Communication planes           Multiplanar applications



 Internet +                        Google Voice: Read
 Telephone planes                  voicemail over the Web

                                   Interactive radio
 Telephone +                       through dial-in support
 Radio planes




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     Why multiplanar applications?

      A single plane is not sufficient
        Economic context
          Broadband Internet is not available everywhere
          But a rich and diverse local communication infrastructure of radio
           stations, cellphones, and cable TV is widespread
        Social context
          Everybody is not literate



      Need to capture the best features of each plane to build novel
       applications



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 Multiplanar communication
     Solns



                        Community media             Distance learning              Agri consultancy


                      Videos    Slides    Playout   Archive    Online    Offline      Search    Share
     Services




                         Television              Audio            Telephony               Content


                               CATV      Radio                  PSTN and Cellular        Internet
     Infrastructure




                        The MINP platform can leverage available infrastructure to
60                      deliver rich community media applications
 A platform oriented approach

  MINP allows us to build
                                        Example verticals
     novel applications for
     different verticals that can:
      Simultaneously use radio,        a   Education
       telephone, television, and the
       Internet                             Agriculture
                                        b
      Leverage existing
       infrastructure
      Work with different agencies     c   Community media
       in the value chain in a
       seamless manner

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a       Education
  MINP can be configured to support distance learning from study centers of
     educational institutions to local cable TV operators in the area




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b       Agriculture
  MINP can be used to support applications for agricultural consultancy and
     community marketplaces in a novel manner




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c      Community media
  MINP can enable the delivery of community media in a low-cost and appropriate
     manner




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        Available technologies for different verticals
Layer                           Service                              Technology
                                Broadcast reception                  Radio sets, TV sets
Layer 5. End-device in                                               Landline, cellphone
speakerphone or video booths, Interaction
or at the end-user                                                   PSTN phone + ATA
                              Mobile interaction (field reporting)   Android based phones

Layer 4: Intra community                                             Landline, cellphone network
                                Voice connectivity
network (assuming Internet is                                        Lo3 or WiFi meshes
not already available)          Video connectivity                   CATV network
                                Radio broadcast                      FM PCI transmitter
Layer 3: Media outlet           Television broadcast                 Network to CATV headend
                                Telephony service                    Asterisk on FXO cards
Layer 2: Inter community        Voice connectivity                   Landline, cellphone network
network (assuming Internet is   Online data connectivity             Long distance WiFi links
not already available)
                                Offline data connectivity            KioskNet
Layer 1: Aggregation point      Data aggregation                     Information portal
                                Telephony service with toll-free #   Asterisk on E1 cards
     Offline connectivity with KioskNet




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     Offline connectivity with KioskNet




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           System design 1/3: One-box automation
     Apps  platform at media outlets

                         Info broadcast          Marketplace            Education


                                                                     Online          Offline           Syndicate
     Platform services




                             Video         Playout      Archiver       Search       Telephony


                            CATV              FM               Library on     FXO card          SIP
                           headend        transmitter            HDD

                            Cable           Radio                             PSTN or        IP network
     Infrastructure




                           network        broadcast                           Cellular

                                                                                     Broad      WiFi      Lo3
                                                                                     band       mesh      mesh
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       System design 2/3: Example of voice
       connectivity paths
                                                                             E1 cards with toll
                                                                             free numbers


                                                                         Syndication over
                                      FXO card, but                         PSTN-to-SIP
              Landline within         no Internet          Syndication over
                community                                  PSTN voice call
                                                                                         Only
                                                                                         Internet
                    Phone calls to media outlet

End-device:
PSTN phones                                               No landline
                                                            within
                                                          community


                                                  End-device: PSTN
69                                                phones with ATA
     System design 3/3: Example of data
     connectivity paths
                                                      Central library



                                                Offline
                            No Internet,    synchronization       Online
                            local library                     synchronization

           Informal local information
                                                                  Internet
             collection through USB
                                                                  available
            recorders, mobile phone
                cameras, Android
                 applications, etc




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       Overarching technology goals

       Goals                                Meeting the goals
 Open architecture and protocols          Multiplanar Application
                                            Management Protocol
 Seamless integration of different        Service API
    planes
   Easy installation and configuration    Pre-configured boxes, plug-n-play
   Low cost                               Off-the-shelf equipment and SBCs
   Robust                                 Rigorous testing
   Flexible to deploy in different        Individual services are
    settings                                distributable on different
                                            machines, different platforms
 Scalable                                 Focus on scalability right from the
                                            beginning
     Research challenges                                        (1/2)

      Versatile setup and protocols for a multiplanar Internet
        Automatic device and service discovery
        Application development transparent to underlying infrastructure
        Low-cost integration with locally available communication planes

      Multiplanar node naming and addressing
        Phone number, IP address, flat/hierarchical name?
        Lookup service accessible through multiple channels?
      Routing algorithms
        Stream routing: Construction of multicast tree instances? Cost,
         fairness
        Routing of recorded content: Time varying graph in
         disconnected environments? Latency, load, urgency
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     Research challenges                                    (2/2)

      Establishment of routing tables
        Control channel over IP, or out-of-band DTMF, SMS?
      Content forwarding
        Streams identified by callerid?
        Recorded content identified by provenance, metadata predicates?
      Content discovery
        Centralized or distributed index?
        Multilingual search and indexing?
      Low-cost and low-power consumption
        CPU scaling Vs temperature, IRQ reduction Vs buffer latency
        Duty cycling

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