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Teleconferencing Options on the UGA Campus

Article ID: 66
Last updated: 21 Jun, 2011

There are several teleconferencing options available for both Coweeta LTER and the UGA Anthropology Department. The following article describes the Sustainable Human Ecosystems Laboratory Teleconferencing Room (SHELTR) and other options, including Wimba and Virtual Teleconferencing.

Sustainable Human Ecosystems Laboratory Teleconferencing Room (SHELTR)

SHELTR is capable of providing on-site meeting space for up to 8 participants. Our primary technology for supporting Teleconferencing is GotoMeeting, a subscription service developed by Citrix. GotoMeeting provides support for Voice-over IP, screen sharing across multiple venues, and dial-in participation with a standard long-distance toll number (we do not the pay the premium for the 1-800 number since long-distance is so cheap at UGA). GotoMeeting is capable of supporting participants from 16 distinct locations. To reserve SHELTR for a repeating interval (e.g., for a class), contact both the Information Manager and Lead PI.

More information on the technical details of SHELTR is available at the links below:

SHELTR Home Page:

How GotoMeeting works:

Other Options

At present SHELTR does not provide much in the way of video conferencing support. We do have a basic webcam for one way views of us and we can support point to point video conferencing via Skype and iChat, as well as Virtual Classroom support with the Wimba and Wimba Pronto protocols that are part of UGA's Electronic Learning Commons.

More information on Wimba is available at the links below:


Wimba Pronto:

It is possible to include people from other universities in UGA-hosted, ELC-based Wimba Classrooms or Wimba Pronto sessions through Virtual Teleconferecing. To do this you must coordinate with the Center for Teaching and Learning and have accounts set up for guest students. Contact Sherry Clouser for more information.

There are also other options, including those which bundle video, voice and data into a single package and send them to other sites using proprietary software and hardware. In terms of user experience, these "Virtual Teleconferencing" systems are the best and most "lifelike" in terms of getting people together as if they were in the same place. UGA has several advertised teleconferencing service centers, all of which are listed here:

Many of these systems require rental fees and may not take semester-long repeated engagements, but some may be available and suitable for your needs. In order to use these systems, the parties involved would need to have compatible systems. The equipment list in the link above would help to determine compatibility.  In general, teleconferencing between schools that are outside the University of Georgia network can be problematic. To understand these problems, go to UGA's Information page on Video Conferencing:

Note the following diagram:

This diagram shows how University System effectively manages traffic and bandwidth to ensure that videoconferencing solutions get priority. Beyond PeachNet and outside USG, you can expect connections with institutions that, like UGA, are part of Internet-2, and therefore have high-bandwidth connections. Beyond that, "Best Effort," roughly translates into "Best of Luck." UGA will do what it can to help you if there are problems connecting with outside parties, but UGA's Internet-1 bandwidth is often operating near its limit and there are many circumstances beyond UGA's control in that environment.

Article ID: 66
Last updated: 21 Jun, 2011
Revision: 1
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