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Infrastructure a hurdle for videoconferencing legislation

August 7, 2013 | Telepresence Options


Story by Frank Konkel / FCW

Legislation introduced in the House of Representatives in July aims to reduce travel expenses for federal employees by up to half by 2017, but complying with such a robust cost-cutting measure could pose challenges to many federal agencies.

H.R. 2643, introduced by Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), would make videoconferencing an integral part of a plan developed by the director of the Office of Management and Budget to cut $7.5 billion off the $15 billion the government spends on travel each year.

Related:Legislation Would Cut Feds' Travel Expenses With Videoconferencing

Yet challenges in IT infrastructure, tight agency budgets and policy are potential barriers to entry for many agencies.

"To get that kind of reduction, you're going to have to have a significant infrastructure upgrade - you're increasing traffic across the network when your employees are videoconferencing," said Jason Parry, Collaboration Practice Director at Force 3, a federal IT solutions provider.

Agencies with highly developed IT infrastructures might not sweat the extra bandwidth required by employees engaging in more video conferences, but smaller agencies that haven't built out existing infrastructures yet might not be able to pony up the cash to modernize.

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