BigBlueButton: Secure Video Conferencing Hosted in New Zealand

BigBlueButton is an open source web conferencing platform that has been supporting online learning for tens of thousands of students globally for over a decade.

Originally developed as a virtual classroom platform to integrate with Learning Management Systems, like Moodle and Tōtara LMS that are widely used in New Zealand, BigBlueButton can now be used as a stand alone platform, integrating with  other web application frameworks.

BigBlueButton is available as a hosted service in the Catalyst Cloud but can also be implemented as an application on-premise. Both approaches ensure that your web conference data is secure, remains onshore, and is not on-sold to advertisers, or other third parties.

BigBlueButton’s core functionality includes:

  • Real-time sharing of slides, audio, video, chat, and desktops.
  • Collaboration tools including a presentation space, interactive whiteboard, polling and and voting functionality.
  • Public and private chat forums and breakout ‘rooms’.
  • Moderator rights to mute, unmute, accept and reject participants. The moderator can also allocate presentation control.
  • Integrated VoIP using FreeSWITCH, and support for presentation of PDF documents and Microsoft Office documents.
  • Uses standard web technologies for delivery and encryption that supported by modern browsers without the need for 3rd party apps or plugins.

Technical Specifications

The BigBlueButton server runs on Ubuntu Linux and can be installed either from source code or from Ubuntu packages. BigBlueButton is also downloadable as a Virtual Machine (VM) that runs within VMware Player on Windows and Unix computers and within VMWare Fusion on Macs. The BigBlueButton server can also run within a cloud environment, such as Amazon EC2, by installing it on an Ubuntu instance.

Getting BigBlueButton

As open source software experts, Catalyst is an appointed re-seller of BigBlueButton services across our global operations. We have years of experience applying the tool in universities and polytechnics, and in solutions helping train workers in remote locations.

If you would like to learn how we can help you apply this cost effectively scalable, local, secure web conferencing solution please email [email protected]


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Catalyst is a New Zealand owned and operated company where openness, long term relationships, community and diversity are essential characteristics of how we do business. Since 1997, Catalyst has been enabling success with expert open source solutions, and clients all over the world trust us with their mission-critical systems.