Local News

Inauguration Internet coverage to be 'historic'

Posted January 18, 2009 6:29 p.m. EST
Updated January 18, 2009 11:14 p.m. EST

— Barack Obama's inauguration as the nation's 44th president is expected to be the most watched Internet event in history.

“I really think it's going to be historic ... I think it's gonna to be just unbelievable turnout, using the web, to view his inauguration,” Rich Lee, CEO of Hosted Solutions.

Raleigh-based Hosted Solutions is the largest premier data center and managed services provider along the East Coast. The company protects Web sites from hackers and makes sure large spikes in Internet traffic are handled without a glitch.

“If you look at the support that Obama has garnered and how he's gone about his campaign, it's really historic in what he's done and what he's been able to accomplish using online media,” Lee said.

Obama is the first president-elect with a Facebook page and a YouTube channel, which means a lot of people will be watching him online take the oath of office.

“We don't know what to expect, but we do know that traffic is gonna increase and we're prepared for it,” Lee said.

Security at Hosted Solutions is very tight and servers are protected by security cameras, guards and bullet-proof glass.

This year's inauguration is expected to have the highest security of any president's swearing-in. The event is considered a National Special Security Event, a federal designation that puts the Secret Service in charge of security for the entire day.

Intelligence officials say there are no specific threats to the inauguration, although the high visibility of the event, the presence of dignitaries and the significance of swearing in the first black president make it a vulnerable target.

WRAL-TV and WRAL.com will offer live coverage throughout the day on Tuesday, beginning with the WRAL Morning News at 5 and extending through the day.

Tune in to WRAL News beginning at 5 p.m. for a wrap-up of the day's events, then log on to WRAL.com for a CBS special report in prime time on WRAL.com. We'll cap the festivities with live coverage on WRAL News at 11.