VC Services information - the Netherlands, SURFnet

Information about VC resources and services from SURFnet:

Basic information

  • Type of service
    H.323 (IP)
    H.320 (ISDN)
  • General usage policy
    Service available for free for people from the academic and higher education and research community,
    Profit oriented service possible: no
  • GDS connection
    GDS prefix: 0031
  • Offical site for SURFnet videoconference services
    Languages: Dutch, English
  • Contact points
    Technical responsible person:
    Erik Dobbelsteijn
    Tel: +31 30 2305305
    Problem reporting


  • MCU
    Radvision MCU-323 for GDS (operational service) - more information,
    Radvision MCU-323 for Freelove on GDS - more information,
    Radvision MCU-323 dedicated for a project (connected to GDS),
    FVC Conference Server (experimental, connected to GDS and SIP)
  • Gatekeeper
    Radvision ECS for GDS (one operational and one test system),
    Radvision L2W-323 for Freelove zone on GDS - more information,
    GNUGK for the SURFnet offices
  • Gateway
    Radvision L2W-323 Gateway for GDS,
    Radvision L2W-323 Gateway for SURFnet offices
  • Clients
    Polyspan ViaVideo, Viewstation, Viewstation SP
    VCON cruiser,escort and vigo
    Sony PCS-1P1
  • Prefered the hardware based clients to the software based clients
  • Tested - SJPhone (audio only), eConf, netmeeting, gnomemeeting, openphone

Middleware, network

  • Directories - H.350 (experimental)
  • % of customers/users multicast enabled -
    the SURFnet backbone is multicast enabled and approximately 40% of the customers has implemented on their premises.
  • Quality of Service -
    Quality of Service by overprovisioning has not lead to any problems yet. We advise QoS measures in the local networks of institutions when overprovisioning is a problem in their network.
  • % of your customers who have the appropriate bandwidth needed for high-quality VC -
    Almost 100%. 80% have 1 Gb/s connections to the backbone. Most others have 100 Mb/s. Only very few still have leased lines of 2-8 Mb/s, which will be upgraded in the SURFnet6 backbone (approximately 2005).

Employment and Services

  • Services -
    MultiPoint Control Unit (MCU), H320/H323 Gateway, Hardware VC station free try-out service
  • User groups -
    Education, Students, Internal meetings, snet-vc community, VC-Stroom project
  • Employment
    • Do you use point2point, point2group or group2group?
      Both point2point and multipoint videoconferencing sessions are held frequently.
    • Is VC to facilitate events?
      Yes. We have videoconferencing demonstration hardware and software that can be demonstrated on special events such as seminars and conferences and plan to arrange a demonstrator room for various VC systems in 2005.
    • Is VC used for consultation?
    • Is VC used for distance learning?
      Yes. Some Universities have extensive distance learning facilities with classrooms dedicated for videoconferencing purposes. Also a project called 'distant expert in the classroom' will provide virtual field trips.
    • Is VC used to facilitate meetings?
      Yes. Meetings within and between institutions, communication with I2, ViDeNet and TF-Streaming is largely done with videoconferencing.

Future plans

Most of the have already started:

  • Recording of sessions
  • Interaction and integration with datacollaboration and Instant Messaging/Presence
  • Web based conferencing (already in pilotphase)
  • NAT/Firewalls
  • SIP/H.323 bridging (already experimental)