Almost every day we receive phone calls from solicitors or directly from a witness expressing an interest in connecting Skype (public version not Skype for business) to a court or tribunal centre in the UK. Technically yes it is possible for us to connect Skype to a UK Court however it’s not straight forward.
Skype is only able to connect to other Skype accounts so there is no route to connect (dial) any other video chat service or video conference solution.
We’ve established that UK courts do not use Skype nor do they advocate the use of it, however we do have the technology in place to quite literally ‘bridge’ Skype to any video conference system.
Our video conference bridging service also connects the signals from IP based Skype and other video chat platforms to ISDN and standards based H.323 video conference systems (Polycom, Cisco, Lifesize) which ultimately allows any two video devices to communicate.
As mentioned earlier it is not a straight forward process to link Skype to standards based video conferencing systems, that’s why our experienced engineers do the complicated configurations behind the scenes making it a seamless experience for both the witness and the Court room.
Despite having the ability to connect Skype to court video links we don’t really advertise the fact because we have found Skype to be unreliable and we cannot be totally sure of its security. The only person that dislikes an unreliable video link more than us is the sitting judge, and we’ll let you imagine their reasons for disliking unreliable video links.
So how do we cater for witnesses that want to connect to UK Courts using Skype? We offer them our reliable and secure alternative, Viewme!
Like Skype, Viewme is a application installed on a mac or computer. Viewme gives the user the ability to securely connect to our encrypted bridging service where we are able to connect directly to the courts video link service over ISDN which makes the link reliable and secure.
Another great security feature is that we use unique conference ID’s that are randomly generated for single use only. If the conference ID is not known then access is not permitted, moreover we only generate the conference ID’s the day before the hearing. We know Viewme works well because we have used it extensively since 2013. Both lay and expert witnesses have used the Viewme service to connect to UK Courts over ISDN and indeed across the Martin Dawes (Vodafone bridge) network.
So if you have Skype and want to connect to a Court give us a call because we can help!
Contact Daniel Shaw – Court Video Links Specialist on 0203 751 4577 or email him firstname.lastname@example.org – he is very well connected.
Patrick Stewart – Video Conferencing London – @vc2world