Teleconferencing Across the Border
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 06:54
University Medical Center’s Medical Television and Teleconferencing in Tucson has put together a mobile teleconferencing unit. Next month, it's off to Nogales, Ariz. for a four-way conference involving sites across Southern Arizona, and across the border.
The all day conference, presented for teachers and parents, will focus on how to better manage behavior in children with autism.
Involved in the connection will be three Arizona cities: Douglas, Somerton and Nogales. They will connect across the border to Nogales, Sonora.
“It is easier to do a videoconference where you have point to point, one site to one site,” said Larry McAlister, a media specialist with Medical Television and Teleconferencing at UMC. “When you start adding multiple sites, it gets a little tricky.”
Medical Television ventured out to the site in Nogales, Ariz. last week to test the connection before the March conference. While the connection was made relatively successfully, there was one concern.
“The bandwidth, or speed of the internet, is very important in teleconferencing,” McAlister said. “In Mexico, the bandwidth was a lot slower.”
According to McAlister, a preferred bandwidth for teleconferencing is at least 768 kbps or kilobits per second. He said the site in Nogales, Sonora, had a speed of 192 kbps.
“If you have multiple sites, whoever has the slowest speed brings the rest of the participants down,” McAlister said. “So if you have slow bandwidth on one site, all of the sites will experience poor quality video and audio.”
A lower broadband speed can cause choppy movements, breaks in audio, and an overall lack of consistency in the quality of the connection.
“Cochise College [in Douglas, Ariz.] is at something like 790 kbps and to ask them to lower down to 192 kbps, could ruin the conference,” said Dr. Burris Duncan, a University of Arizona professor of Public Health and Pediatrics who helped organize the event. “I can’t jeopardize that.”
So the question is, can the site in Mexico raise their bandwidth before the March conference?
“They are working on increasing it, but we don’t know for sure if they will be able to,” Duncan said. “I’m told that for someone who knows how to do it, it's not too difficult, but I have no idea.”
There are a few alternative options if Mexico cannot increase the speed before then. Among the ideas are to have them participate by phone or perhaps join in by Skype. While neither option is ideal, Duncan and the teleconference team are still brainstorming.
“Skype isn’t the same,” Duncan said. “If the speaker wanders, you can’t stay on him or you can’t switch back between a speaker and presentation.”
McAlister and Duncan are keeping in contact with the site in Sonora, awaiting updates on any changes in their broadband speed. The conference is set for Friday, March 4.
"It makes it [teleconferencing] even more tricky to go into a foreign country because there are a lot of variables,” McAlister said.
- Streetcar Construction Creates Difficulty for Downtown Businesses
- Take Back the Night: Cover it Live
- Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument clears air about dangers of the border
- Personal activism turns into motivation for demonstration
- Missing on the Border
- University of Arizona NROTC members may carry weapons on training hikes near Mexico
- The Reincarnation Tour: Celebrating a Vibrant and New Central Phoenix
- Rap, Culture & God Lecture
- Cover it Live - CBP's Mario Escalante will share tips of how to be a better border reporter with SPJ.
- Cover it Live: Margaret Regan Talk on Arizona-Mexico Border Stories
- Similarities Emphasized at ‘Queer-ability’ Discussion
- The Essence of Gamma Alpha Omega
- Spanish Heritage Learner Program Enhances UA Education
- Arizona Women's Heritage Trail
- Border Beat Class
- Cover it Live Boxing Training Session
- UA Decathlete Strives to Make the Most of Life in the US
- Ride Report- Premises Park Progress
- The Grip On Tucson Climbing
- Shootout decides 2012 Desert Diamond Cup Championship Game
- Soccer Success Still Kicking in Tucson
- L.A Galaxy v. New York Red Bulls
- La Fiesta de los Vaqueros Tucson Rodeo
Stalk us at:
Border Beat BlogsEducación en la Frontera
By: Shannon Maule
A look at higher education in regard to those who have and have not been able to travel from various countries to the United States. Stories from people in the higher education world relating to the border.A Mosaic America
By: Rachel Kolinski
"Exploring Diversity one Face at a Time"
By: Hope Jamieson
Explore dance throughout the borderlands.A City of Musical Diversity
By: Maria Teracena
Tucson musicians influence and are influenced by the sounds of the world.Culture Crossing
By: Chelsey Barthel
American borders are crossed every day by cultures of all kind. These stories tell the personal experiences of people from different lands, offering further insight into the difference of cultures.
By: Lauren Inouye
A look at Mexican and Latin films that reflect culture, politics, and society -- reviews, research and analysis.
By: Charles Misra
Stories about martial arts and combat sports with a cultural twist, all finding a home in America's southwestern borderlands.Border People
By: Jamie Turow
Profiles of English language learners.
By: Jessica Hoerth
Meet some of the people in Tucson who have made the journey across the border as they share what they came in search of and what struggles they may have encountered along the way.
By: Lauren Urratio
Fashion and how it is impacted by the border and international cultures.
By: Lucy Valencia
News from along the border with MexicoThe Border Project
By: Melissa Guz
"The Border Project" is an art showcase located in the University of Arizona's Museum of Art. It has over 40+ art pieces related to border issues.Athletics and the Border
By: Preston Fawcett
Get to know high school coachs and athletes from Arizona border towns or from Mexico and their struggles to get to where they are.
By: Audrey A. Fitzsimmons
The Southwest boasts of diverse ethnic backgrounds and a wealth of interesting personalities. Border Personalities is dedicated to the people of the Southwest and their stories.
By: Jeff Kessler
U.S. - Mexico border issues, current events, and interesting local storiesMusic of the Border
By: Steven Schiraldi
Music reviews of musical works by Mexican or other ethnic artists.
By: Brett Haupt
A visual exploration of America’s last frontier -- pictures and videos from different areas of the wall and fence that separate two different worlds and insight into what really stands between the United States and Mexico, ramifications of wall building and what it means for the average citizen.Border Athletes
By: Lauren Sokol
Meet international student athletes at the University of Arizona, a look at the recruiting process that helped them find a temporary home in the desert, and culture changes that the athletes might have endured.Journey Across the Border
By: Emily Kjesbo
Spotlighting Mexico’s top travel destinations, as well as a few of its hidden gems.Border Shots
By: Keith Perfetti
A photojournalist looks at how other photographers have viewed the border and shoots lesser known spots of the southwest.
MLS Soccer comes to the Desert
By: Jeff Kessler
All about the 2012 Desert Diamond Cup, a 10 day exhibition soccer tournament featuring four Major League Soccor teams coming to Tucson.