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Collaborate Ultra - Network Connection Status

Instructions on how to check an ultra users network connection and how to make adjustments to accommodate low bandwidth situations.

Blackboard’s contract to provide web conference services to the University of Wisconsin will expire on 6/30/2021. Access to Blackboard Collaborate Ultra web conference sessions, recordings, usage data, and all other services will end on that date. The UW System plans on negotiating a conferencing contract with Zoom before the start of the Fall 2021 semester. Alternative conferencing tools such as Microsoft Teams and WebEx will continue to be available during this transition. More information can be found here.

How to check network connection status in Collaborate Ultra

What are the primary factors in bandwidth consumption when using Collaborate with the Ultra experience? 

Collaborate uses dynamic bandwidth adjusting for Chrome and Firefox users, which means that the application automatically adjusts the download speeds before a user should experience issues. 

The primary factors in bandwidth consumption for Collaborate Ultra are sharing webcam videos and sharing applications
  • Webcam video bandwidth uses ranges from 360kbps down to 20kbps per camera, up to 4 cameras 
  • Audio always uses 48kbps 
  • Ability to receive application sharing and audio as low as 88kbps 
  • Application sharing bandwidth uses ranges from 500kbps down to 70kbps 
  • Can show 4 cameras with audio as low as 128kbps and with a max of 1488kbps.
- A small amount of overhead is also required for chat. 
- If network conditions falter and can't sustain the minimum bandwidth needed, the application will turn off cameras and application sharing. 
- For 1 camera and audio the trigger will be 68 kbps and for application sharing and audio 118 kbps
- When network conditions improve, the cameras and application sharing will turn back on automatically for Chrome and Firefox users. 

What to do if bandwidth is a concern? 

For sessions where bandwidth is a concern, it is recommend that no attendees share their webcam video unless required for the instruction. It is also recommend that the moderator or presenter use file sharing and whiteboard for content instead of application sharing. Use application sharing when it is required for the instruction. 
With no video and application sharing, a user with 128kbps connection will be able to participate fully in the session.  

*Please also keep in mind that bandwidth is not only a concern regarding the network. Other factors, such as latency, jitter, and packet loss can all affect the quality of the session.

Keywords:ultra, network, status, connection, bandwidth, collaborate, video, audio, quality   Doc ID:97854
Owner:Linda W.Group:UW Parkside
Created:2020-02-11 16:00 CDTUpdated:2021-05-03 14:09 CDT
Sites:UW Parkside
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