US disaster inspires free access offer to video conference resources for relief, telemedicine, and communication efforts

Andover 12 September 2001After the terrorist attacks against the United States World Trade Center and Pentagon buildings on September 11, 2001, PictureTel Corporation, a specialist in integrated collaboration, immediately took a series of measures to aid relief efforts supporting the victims in this disaster. To help families and businesses connect, PictureTel invited its partners and customers to contribute to a central reference site where individuals, organisations, and companies could find information about locations where they were able to use existing video conferencing rooms.

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The facilities could be utilised for communication with distant family members, or to aid in the business crisis planning process. Any individual or organisation interested in utilising a conference room for humanitarian or victim relief purposes could review the full list of donated sites, which was being posted at the PictureTel Web site under the tab "Video Relief".

PictureTel has donated its own video conferencing facilities around the world for those affected. The company was also offering loaner video conferencing equipment, including wireless solutions and technical support personnel to emergency management organisations, hospitals, and humanitarian relief groups to support telemedicine and relief co-ordination.

"We urge our partners, our competitors, and our customers to open the doors of their video conference rooms so that individuals can use existing video conferencing capabilities to communicate with loved ones, and businesses can start the re-building process", stated Lew Jaffe, president and chief operating officer.

Organisations that decided to contribute use of their sites, were invited to complete an information form in the Video Relief section of the PictureTel Web site, or e-mail site information including exact address, contact name, and telephone number, or send the same information by fax.

"We at once have experienced a tremendous outpouring of support for this programme", added Mr. Jaffe. "Colleagues from around the world and across the country have responded to our request, offering the use of conference rooms and video conferencing technology for anyone who might need assistance in communicating with loved ones or business partners."

"The global impact of this tragedy is shown by the offers of help coming from countries as diverse as Australia, New Zealand, Peru, Thailand, and Lithuania, as well as from all the countries represented in the European Union. We have begun work with local hospitals helping co-ordinate remote physician consultations via video conference and we will continue to focus on providing additional support in this area", stated Mr. Jaffe.

PictureTel Corporation develops, manufactures, and markets a full range of visual and audio collaboration platforms. The company markets network conferencing servers in addition to the complete range of end-point products and delivers a global capability to service, support, and provide complete solutions for customers needing rich media communications.


Leslie Versweyveld

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