Brittany Region's hospitals soon to perform telemedicine via regional broadband network

Paris 20 March 2000The Regional Council of Brittany, FVC.COM and France Telecom are partnering in the development of a first-of-its-kind regional network in Europe, designed to connect more than twenty-four French cities, 1300 sites and three million citizens by 2003. At its core will be a complete FVC.COM Video Operations Center, delivering broadband Internet video services across the $50 million fiber optic Brittany Regional Broadband Network.

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Under an agreement with the Brittany officials, France Telecom is implementing the FVC.COM Video Operations Center to deliver both ATM or Asynchronous Transfer Mode and Internet Protocol (IP) video services. This new Center will offer management, security and billing for video calls, video meetings, video broadcast, and video on demand. The various services will be accessed using FVC.COM's Video Portal, a Web-browser-based interface that brings point-and-click simplicity to two-way video.

"We intend for Brittany's Regional Broadband Network to function as a prototype for France Telecom to deliver similar capabilities to several regions throughout Europe", stated the head of video-conferencing solutions at France Telecom, Philippe Alezard.

The Regional Council of Brittany developed the network initiative to provide high-speed Internet access and a novel generation of voice, video and data services to citizens facilitating access to the local administration services for consumers and enterprises; cultural libraries of stored events and resources; tourism broadcasts which multi-cast events from popular sites around the region to tourism offices; distance learning to enable students to participate in college and university classes conducted via live video-conferencing; and telemedicine to offer health care providers in hospitals, clinics, and offices remote consultation facilities and education options via video-conferencing and video broadcast.

"We who represent the Brittany region, known throughout France as a technology leader, are pro-actively deploying this novel broadband network and broad set of video services to improve the quality of life for our citizens and enterprises", commented Mr. Josselin De Rohan, president of the Regional Council of Brittany. "All will benefit largely from this new-generation network designed, built and operated with France Telecom."

"The Brittany region is demonstrating its spirit of innovation via the integration of video services into its public infrastructure. Their impressive network demonstrates the region's vision for technology, and it is one which promises to reap fruitful rewards for the region's citizens", as stated by Richard M. Beyer, president and CEO of FVC.COM. "FVC.COM looks forward to expanding and replicating these services all over Europe."

Located in the west of France, Brittany is the seventh largest of France's 21 regions, with a population of over three million people. Known throughout Europe as a technology leader, the Brittany region is home to research and telecommunications organisations that range from start-up to multinational corporations.

With operations in more than 50 countries, and 24.6 billion euros in 1998 revenues, France Telecom is one of the world's leading telecom carriers. It provides businesses and consumers with a full range of innovative services, including data, wireless, Internet and cable TV as well as local, long-distance and international telephony. France Telecom is listed on the Paris Bourse and the New York Stock Exchange.

FVC.COM, the world leader in broadband video networking, manufactures, designs and supports a wide range of high quality two-way and streaming video systems and service offerings which enable applications including the broadband Internet based video calls, conferences, mail, and events also. FVC.COM's strategic partners include Accord, Alcatel, Adaptive Broadband, Ameritech, Bell Atlantic, British Telecommunications plc, France Telecom, EDS, Ezenia!, Nortel Networks, Qwest Communications, Cisco Systems Inc., Polycom, Shanghai Telecom, Telstra, White Pine Software and other leading companies worldwide.


Leslie Versweyveld

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