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In 1990 the University of Wales set up a video teaching conferencing network to link its constituent Colleges. The system is referred to locally as 'C5C' or 'WelshNet'. This report uses the term Welshnet as a useful comparison with similar networks such as the University of London 'LiveNet' service (Butters, L 1995). There are currently dedicated video-conferencing rooms in five centres, at Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff Lampeter, and Swansea. The system's main use has always been for University teaching, research and administration. The facilities are however increasingly being used by outside organisations.

The five centres each contain a conference table for six participants, all of whom can be seen on screen at the other centres. There is also additional seating in each room which allows for presentations to larger groups. The total capacity of the rooms varies from 20 at Swansea to 50 at Bangor, with Aberystwyth, Cardiff and Lampeter each having room for 30.

The system as currently configured can link from two to all five centres, and can allow multiple conferences to be supported. It can also be linked by special arrangement to the BT network which allows access to other public video- conferencing rooms elsewhere in the UK. Usage data derived from the booking system indicates a range of different connection types, and is shown in Table 1.

        	Point-to-Point	3 way 	4 way 	5 way

No of sessions 75 37 70 27 No. of hours 123 70.5 131 57

Table 1.

Connection types (actual & booked Feb.1994 to Jan. 1995)

In particular the provision of a switched interface to the SuperJANET high speed digital video circuit now makes possible successful links to be established with several of the SuperJANET academic pilot centres.

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