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Wednesday, 21 March 2012 17:33

AARNet launches Cisco Telepresence Exchange

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AARNet has formally launched its Cisco Telepresence Exchange service, announced last July, enabling its member institutions with Cisco Telepresence facilities to set up point-to-point and multipoint high definition videoconferences with each other and with institutions overseas.

The TelePresence Exchange is connected to AARNet3, AARNet's latest generation network that provides bandwidth up to 10Gbps. It also incorporates a gateway to the National Lambda Rail network in the US, which connects over 225 Telepresence rooms in 71 universities and colleges in 13 countries around the world.

Launch customers include Swinburne University, Monash University and its Traralgon Hospital, Victoria University, the Australian Centre for Health Innovation and Melbourne University's Institute for Broadband Enabled Society (IBES).

James Sankar, AARNet's applications and services director, told iTWire: "We are acting almost like a service broker...to connect all the Australian AARNet customers together point-to-point or multipoint, and we have extended that by peering to universities in the US. And we are looking to do that into Europe and Asia as well.

Sankar said that, at present setting a multipoint conference was a manual process. "But it is our intention to work with another company to automate that scheduling so customers will be able to go into an online portal and schedule their own conference."

Down the track AARNet expects institutions with non-Cisco telepresence equipment to be able to participate. "We have not yet moved to the [Cisco-developed but now open source] TelePresence Interoperability Protocol to enable non Cisco Telepresence units to talk to the Cisco systems. The intent this year is to develop that interoperability," Sankar said.

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