[AG-TECH] AG as general teleconferencing tool?

Osland, CD (Chris) C.D.Osland at rl.ac.uk
Mon Feb 18 08:00:18 CST 2002

Jay Beavers wrote:

> For me, the events of September 11th have strongly motivated me to
> ensure our research in these areas ends up producing a more generally
> useful conferencing tool.  With the reduction in travel and the
> potential for travel to remain dangerous, I think people are going to be
> much more motivated to use teleconferencing in the future.

While I appreciate that September 11th has caused many people to
re-evaluate the risks of air travel, it is a yet more sobering
thought - heard on the radio this morning - that in the countries
of the European Union, the number of people killed on the roads
*every day* is equivalent to one planeload.

Our former head of personnel, way back in 1996, encouraged our
organization (which is spread over two main sites, 160 miles
and at least 3-4 hours travelling apart) to invest in and use
video conferencing.  Her justification was that all the cost
(say £50K per end at the time) was insignificant when set beside
the cost to the organization (let alone the individuals involved)
of one fatal accident.  Although the facilities are now used much
more widely, it is probably avoiding about 10 car-loads of staff
travelling (possibly drowsey after too little sleep the night
before on the way up and tired after a meeting on the way back)
per day.  While train travel removes the risk of the driver
not being up to the task (hopefully!) it is both more
expensive and more time-consuming than the car.  Any form
of video conferencing (AG or ISDN) beats travelling hands
down in terms of explicit cost and time.

I'm sure I'm preaching to the converted!

Just my 0.02's worth.


Chris Osland                         Office tel: +44 (0) 1235 446565
Digital Media and Access Grid      Medialab tel: +44 (0) 1235 446459
BIT Department             Access Grid room tel: +44 (0) 1235 445666
e-mail:   C.D.Osland at rl.ac.uk               Fax: +44 (0) 1235 445597

CLRC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (Bldg. R18)
Chilton, DIDCOT, Oxon OX11 0QX, UK

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