Brown University News Bureau

The Brown University News Bureau

1995-1996 index

Distributed June 7, 1996
Contact: Tracie Sweeney

Brown University upgrades its video conference access to Moscow

The Russian Link, a low-cost two-way real-time video-conference system offered through Brown University and the Institute for Space Research in Russia, has upgraded to a higher speed to improve service.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The Russian Link, a joint international telecommunications project of Brown University and the Institute for Space Research (IKI) of the Russian Academy of Sciences, has upgraded its video-conferencing system to 384 kilobytes per second (kbps) to provide state-of-the-art quality.

The Russian Link is a unique effort combining U.S. and Russian technologies to offer low-cost two-way real-time video conferencing to Moscow from sites throughout the United States. Two Russian-made earth stations located on the Brown campus and at IKI communicate via an Intersputnik satellite. The Moscow and Providence sites are equipped with PictureTel video-conferencing systems that follow international standards for compatibility with other systems. By dialing to Brown, video-conferencing sites nationwide can connect to the PictureTel studio at IKI and its adjacent classroom. In Moscow, IKI provides expert technical support for users in Russia.

Video conferencing enables face-to-face communications with distant colleagues through high-speed telephone lines. Video conferences can be held point to point - between two sites - or can unite up to 20 sites by way of a voice-activated bridge. The technology has long been used by businesses and increasingly is making inroads in academic and non-profit sectors, which are discovering the benefits of video conferencing for collaborative research, distance learning, project planning, informal work sessions, recruitment, and public relations briefings.

Since 1992, The Russian Link has facilitated and enhanced the work of many U.S.-Russian projects and exchange programs, including the Connecticut Department of Education, the Federal Communications Commission, Hamilton Standard and the National Aeronautic Space Agency Jet Propulsion Lab.

The Russian Link evolved from a joint project begun in 1989 between the Center for Foreign Policy at Brown University and IKI. The start-up phase of the project was made possible through a grant from the Carnegie Foundation of New York.

For more information about the Russian Link or to schedule a U.S.-Russian video conference, call 401 863-7304, or send e-mail to [email protected]