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TelstraClear to develop trans-Tasman TelePresence

Media Release 28 July 2008

TelstraClear first to develop trans-Tasman TelePresence

TelstraClear is developing New Zealand's first end-to-end trans-Tasman telepresence experience.

The solution will be delivered over TelstraClear's IP and Telstra's Next IP networks, linking Auckland, Wellington, Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.

TelstraClear Head of Enterprise and Government Mark Wilson says the company has invested in Cisco's flagship IP Video product TelePresence, which has transformed video conferencing to a near life like experience. Users feel they are sitting across the table from participants who might be in other cities or even countries.

While the solution will initially be used between TelstraClear and Telstra offices, the company is investigating offering a bureau service to enterprise customers, and will supply Cisco TelePresence solutions to companies using their own office environments utilising TelstraClear's superior IP network.

"TelstraClear's telepresence solution gives us an alternative to travelling long distances for meetings and creates an environment for up to six people at each end utilising immersive, purpose built meeting rooms located at TelstraClear and Telstra offices. We can develop telepresence solutions in-house for customers or offer them our own high-tech meeting rooms."

"This is true high definition telepresence and can dramatically change the way Auckland - Wellington, and trans-Tasman business is conducted, made possible by TelstraClear's IP network and Telstra's Next IP network."

Mr Wilson says the move signals a change in the way businesses conduct meetings bringing with it many advantages.

"Now that high definition telepresence solutions are available they are starting to deliver significant benefits such as improved time management, cost savings and productivity gains, as well as reducing carbon emissions."

A report last month by the Global e-Sustainability Initiative, a group of technology companies, and the Climate Group, an environmental organisation, estimated that up to 20 percent of business travel worldwide could be replaced by web-based and conventional videoconferencing technology.*

The Cisco TelePresence solution combines high definition audio quality, interactive technologies and a specially designed environment to approximate the feeling of actually being in the same room as participants in separate locations.

The announcement comes as TelstraClear has recertified its Cisco Gold status, a key and strategic partnership for the company in New Zealand and across the Tasman. The status confirms the company's proven and growing capability in integrating Cisco based high quality IP Video and collaboration solutions.

Mr Wilson says Cisco TelePresence is a significant investment for the company and will be incorporated into daily business activity.

"While obviously looking to offer Cisco TelePresence to our customers, we will also be internally fulfilling many of the objectives of our corporate responsibility policy in regards to minimising our environmental impact, greatly reducing travelling between our head offices in New Zealand and across the Tasman to our shareholder."

TelstraClear and Cisco are designing and building the TelePresence rooms in New Zealand, enabling face-to-face high definition images to be transmitted in real-time allowing interaction and collaboration with co-workers, business partners or customers many thousands of kilometres away.


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