Oregon Public Schools Expand Videoconferencing Network with VTEL Products

July 3, 2001

AUSTIN, Texas (July 2, 2001) The State of Oregon Department of Education (ODE), is expanding its highly successful videoconferencing network, The Oregon Access Network, with an additibecome the catalyst that has moved distance education implementation ahead in the state by at least two years, remarked Tom Cook, Executive Director of the Oregon Public Education Network. In delivering valuable resources to every teacher and student, it levels the playing field so they can compete more effectively in our standards-based system of education.

Technology used to overcome national shortage of specialized teachers

One example of leveling the playing field can be found in Waldport, Oregon (pop. 1,595). Like smaller high schools all across the country, Waldport High School in doesnt have its own teacher for advanced physics. But that doesnt mean its students miss out. Thanks to videoconferencing, Waldports five physics students are part of Brian Hannas advanced physics class in Newport High School, 40 miles north on the Oregon Coast Highway in Lincoln City. Overcoming the national shortage of advanced math and science high school teachers of is just one of the ways the ODE uses videoconferencing to improve its school system.

We at VTEL Products are dedicated to serving our customers and channel partners by building the best new collaborative videoconferencing systems for the distance learning marketplace, stated Bob Swem, general manager of VTEL Products. The ODE understands that they can rely on VTEL Products now and in the future, Swem concluded.

Network Uses Statewide Internet Protocol Infrastructure

Like the Oregon Public Education Network, the newly added videoconference systems, known as the Oregon Access Network, operate on the architecture referred to as H.323, which carries the video, audio and data signals over Internet Protocol networks instead of telephone lines. Oregon is at the forefront of the United States in installing an infrastructure of IP networks for its state agencies.

The statewide network of video-enabled classrooms is the foundation for a master plan to connect Oregons schools and agencies. The second phase will add public institutions of higher education, most of whom already operate their own interactive distance learning networks. The projects third phase will connect Oregons state agencies to the network.

VTEL Products Bested Competitors in 48-Hour Continuous Product Performance Tests

The Oregon Department of Education selected VTEL Products after competitive reviews that included 48-hour continuous product performance tests. The classroom packages being installed from the latest sale include VTEL Galaxy> videoconferencing units with PC-based software and instructor peripherals including tracking and document cameras and SmartVideoNet Manager. The Galaxy> is VTELs flagship group videoconferencing system based on Intels Pentium > processor and featuring standard 30 frames-per-second video. It provides the industrys most natural conference experience with fully integrated, hands-free tools and is the preferred choice for many distance education networks worldwide.

About VTEL Products Business Unit

Based in Austin, Texas, the soon-to-be independent VTEL Products business unit is a leading manufacturer of PC-integrated videoconferencing codecs primarily serving education and government customers worldwide. VTEL sells virtually all of its products through value-added reseller channels and has developed significant expertise in large-scale deployments of both traditional (H.320) and emerging video-over-IP (H.323) networks. Visit the VTEL website.

About Forgent

Forgent Corporation is a visual communications solutions provider for enterprise networks. Forgents offerings include global services, multi-vendor products, and network management software. Forgent is deploying a video network platform to propel industry-wide interoperability and compatibility standards for both traditional (H.320) and Internet Protocol (H.323) networks, as well as drive the migration to video over IP networks. Visit Forgents website at www.forgent.com for more information.