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Reader: Government is ready for videoconferencing


In response to an Aug. 5 FCW article detailing possible hurdles for videoconferencing legislation, a reader wrote:

Government agencies have been building the infrastructure for videoconferencing for over a decade. I know, because I have been using it for over a decade. Add to the fact that if these agencies still do not have it completed, most likely they can easily complete it with savings from reduced travel costs. So if people are still complaining, it sounds to me like they have another agenda - one that they will not state because they know that it is not a positive agenda. I think most of us can come up with a few guesses as to what those real reasons are to not cut travel that they do not want to provide.

Frank Konkel responds: Videoconferencing is commonly used by feds, but much less often than we’d be talking about if H.R. 2643 were passed as is. Reducing travel expenditures by half – or even anything close to those numbers – would result in a significant increase in Internet traffic that would push the capabilities of some agencies.

Imagine all the employees who commonly travel for meetings and conferences logging into networks and sucking up bandwidth. Most civilian agencies are far away from having the full infrastructure in place to seamlessly allow their employees to telework or videoconference without issue.

That said, I can understand your cynicism: I do believe most feds, especially those at the managerial level and above, would prefer to conduct the vast majority of their business in person. Yet the rule of law could force even high-level officials to comply. 

Posted by Frank Konkel on Aug 09, 2013 at 5:50 AM

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