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Fuqua School of Business Launches Global Conference System Telepresence Environment

March 13, 2002

DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke University's Fuqua School of Business today officially launched its use of "telepresence across Internet2 networks" at its campuses in both Durham, NC and in Frankfurt, Germany. The simultaneous electronic ribbon cutting celebrates a first for Fuqua and the Internet2 application community.

As an alternative to the typical lower-speed videoconferencing connections, Fuqua has now begun using super-fast Internet2 networks in the United States and DFN, the German high-performance research and education network, to carry the video and audio content of its Global Conference System telepresence environment between Durham and Frankfurt. "Fuqua has pioneered the use of high-performance videoconferencing environments. Our use of Internet2 networks and DFN enables us to have real-time conversations with our associates in Frankfurt with extremely high-quality audio and video. This is what we call the 'telepresence environment', and is what sets us well apart from traditional videoconferencing," explained Nevin Fouts, associate dean for information technology at Fuqua.

Fuqua's Global Conference System telepresence environment allows staff and faculty to meet on an as-needed basis by just walking into a conference room that is connected to another conference room across the ocean, via Internet2 networks and DFN. Future leverage of this technology will allow Fuqua faculty, staff, and students to meet with corporate executives "room-to-room". Companies such as3Com, AOL/Time-Warner, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Glaxo-SmithKline, NEC, and Capital One are among the newcomers to this new capability, following Fuqua's lead and using telepresence at lower bandwidths using T1 circuits. TeleSuite Corporation has been working with Fuqua through a partnership agreement to provide early access to this advanced technology.

The Global Conference System telepresence environment combines technology from TeleSuite Corporation and Nortel Networks and was made possible through the collaborative efforts of technology staffs at Fuqua and Nortel Networks along with networking resources within Internet2, DFN, Duke's Office of Information Technology, Abilene, DANTE, and NCREN.

"Telepresence is an exciting advance in collaborative applications, in which Fuqua is playing a leadership role among both business schools and international collaborations," said Ted Hanss, director of applications for Internet2. A close partnership between Internet2 and DFN assisted in establishing the high-performance transoceanic connection used by the Global Conferencing System. The network path used in today's demonstration included two 2.5 gigabit per second connections that GEANT, the European research backbone network, recently established with the Internet2 Abilene network. DFN is a GEANT consortium partner.

Fuqua's initial telepresence environment was deployed in the fall of 2000 and made possible through a gift from the Global Executive MBA Class of 1999. Mike Coleman, CEO of Integrity, Inc. and a member of the class, referred to Fuqua's vision and leadership as "bold and thoughtful". "Fuqua's leverage of telepresence as it expanded its global reach has demonstrated how thoughtful use of advanced technologies can enable interactions and communications beyond what is achievable with telephones and traditional videoconferencing."

About Internet2

Led by over 190 US universities, working with industry and government, Internet2 is developing and deploying advanced network applications and technologies for research and higher education, accelerating the creation of tomorrow's Internet. Internet2 recreates the partnership of academia, industry and government that helped foster today's Internet in its infancy.
For more information about Internet2, see: http://www.internet2.edu

About The Fuqua School of Business

The Fuqua School of Business (www.fuqua.duke.edu) was founded in 1969 and is now ranked among the top graduate schools of business in the United States. Fuqua offers its MBA degree in four formats. The Duke MBA - Daytime is the school's flagship program; the other non-residential executive MBA options include The Duke MBA - Weekend Executive, The Duke MBA - Global Executive, and The Duke MBA - Cross Continent. Fuqua is also a leader in non-degree executive education.