This morning (Thursday) state government’s Transportation Commission planned to meet at 9 a.m. CT by telephone.
I turned on SD.net and heard only music for about 45 minutes, except for a few moments when I thought I heard a snippet of conversation between possibly commission member Ralph Marquardt of Yankton and possibly state official Mike Behm.
Unfortunately the music cut back in. Later the music ended and only silence followed. The link disappeared from the SD.net page on the Internet.
Meanwhile I had called in on the teleconference number. I tried three times, and each time I received a rejection after punching in the code. After the third time, my call into the conference number ended. I re-dialed and eventually got access through the code. But there wasn’t a leader or anyone else on the call. Instead I heard music.
I emailed Transportation Secretary Darin Bergquist and DOT spokeswoman but neither replied.
The music on the conference call line was still playing until about 10:28 a.m. CT. Then it went silent too.
Waiting to hear what happened…
UPDATE: Transportation Secretary Darin Bergquist said there was a teleconference that ran from approximately 9:05 a.m. CT until about 9:15 a.m. CT.
Bergquist checked with a representative for South Dakota Public Broadcasting. Bergquist wrote in an email: “SDPB did say after the meeting that they heard some talking right away then it sounded like it dropped so they are looking into that, but they also said they didn’t know the meeting was going to be that short so they may have just spot checked their recording during the wrong timeframes meaning after the meeting ended….”
My initial call to the conference number probably came at about 9:15 a.m. CT. Perhaps that was as the meeting was finishing. As I said, the conference number refused the code three times. When I did eventually get back in, there was only music (and later silence).
I didn’t call the conference number until then because I was relying on SD.net. My observation has been that SD.net is silent until the minute a meeting is scheduled to begin, then plays music until the person running the meeting calls the meeting to order. SD.net is operated by SDPB, which is an arm of the state Bureau of Information and Telecommunications.
There isn’t a state law requiring state boards and commissions to live-stream their meetings on the Internet. The policy under Gov. Dennis Daugaard has been to urge that they use the Internet when possible. Many of the state boards and commissions have done so, but some haven’t.