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AARNet spruiks open standards for video conferencing

AARNet spruiks open standards for video conferencing

Network joins Open Visual Communications Consortium (OVCC)

In a bid to support open standards for video conferencing, the Australian Academic Research Network (AARNet) has joined the Open Visual Communication Consortium (OVCC).

Set up by video conferencing vendor, Polycom, OVCC is the first visual communications environment based on open standards. Its members — includes Telstra and Optus owner, Singtel — are working to establish a multi-network, multi-vendor environment, delivering consistent video conferencing.

AARNet applications and services director, James Sankar, said it joined to help encourage better use of open standards by vendors and allow its customers to take part in international conferences on networks using multiple carriers.

“The equipment that is used by most video conferencing vendors is based on open standards but it’s the way this is implemented that is the issue,” he said.

For example, he said users who want to conduct video conferencing using different carriers, are faced with the issue of firewalls and gateways.

“That’s one of the reasons why Skype has been so successful is that it’s bypassed those issues using a peer to peer approach,” Sankar said.

He added that OVCC was about using high definition video in a more coordinated effort on a global scale.

“The issue the OVCC is looking at is how we can make those open standards talk better together,” he said. “If I’m in video conference and I want to dial to another conferencing server, I have to ensure the settings are right in my system.”

AARNet chief executive, Chris Hancock, said in a statement that the growth of telepresence has historically been stifled by interoperability and connectivity challenges.

“However, by working with our OVCC partners we hope to remove the barriers to ubiquity and open the door to hassle free faster video collaboration with partners and customers,” he said.

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