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Video-chatting with the Feds: GSA Announces National Telepresence Centers

GSA Administrator Martha Johnson, Photo: gsa.gov, treehugger.com

Calling it an essential step in energy efficiency and cost savings for federal travel, the General Services Administration announced it would establish virtual meeting centers in federal buildings across the United States.

The video-conferencing system will be available at GSA’s 11 regional headquarters, in cities such Boston, New York City, Atlanta and four locations in Washington, D.C.

GSA Administrator Martha Johnson said the telepresence solution was part of efforts the agency was exploring to “create a more efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable government for the American people.”

“This includes incorporating innovative and collaborative technologies like virtual meeting centers to create seamless connections around the world,” she added.  “Availability of virtual meeting technology will help launch our government to the next level of productivity.”

The virtual meeting rooms will contain high-definition video and audio equipment and state-of-the-art collaboration tools.

The project is expected to be completed by early 2011 and will draw on the expertise of AT&T, which will manage the virtual network under an $18 million task order with GSA.

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