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Virtual Meetings Quickly Replacing Travel

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The economic downturn, hassles at airports and demands for efficiency are bringing the Internet into conference rooms and living rooms. Virtual meetings are taking the place of travel and a Raleigh company is in the middle of it all.

Greg Knapp meets with his boss and clients using video conferencing.

"I have a standard laptop on my desk here in my office. It is ethernet-connected to the Road Runner cable modem and I have a Vicon Vigo system," Knapp said. "I can participate this way and save 2 1/2 hours in the car in each direction."

"That's the beauty of using Internet protocol because there's no long-distance cost," he said.

Brent Carter and his company,

IP Technologies

, see video conferencing expanding in education, business and government. He said it might help solve pollution and urban sprawl problems.

"We feel like that this type of technology is our answer to light rail in North Carolina," he said.

Carter believes the Internet, small cameras, and monitors can solve a lot of problems and is working to make it happen. IP Technologies is one of several Triangle companies offering video conferencing. All say interest has grown since Sept. 11 and the anthrax scare.


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