Talk:Web conferencing for large groups in low bandwidth

From KM4Dev Wiki
Revision as of 19:56, 4 March 2013 by Davide Piga (Talk | contribs)

(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

Hi Ewen

I've been using quite often AT&T connect (formerly Interwise). While the interface and functionality may lack some more contemporary features, in my experience I never suffered from connectivity issues, the call was normally very stable even in low-bandwidth environments. I am not sure about the costs but can point you to one of AT&T partners in Europe if you are interested.

Increasingly I'm also finding Google+ Hangouts very reliable in low-ban situations (much better than Skype) - but I don't think this would be an option for the type of meeting you are planning .

Hope this helps


Pier Andrea Pirani ---

Dear all,

Apart from the different technological options that are exchanged here, also interested in some additional methodological reflections about the effective use of engaging webinars. I just shared a short blogpost about this: Greetings, Tom,

Tom Wambeke

--- Thank you Pier Andrea, Tom,

Yes Pier, it'd be great if you could connect me with AT&T folks. And thanks Tom, I'll definitely delve into the specifics of your webinar guidelines before we embark on the community day.

Otherwise, anyone, any preference between: Web-Ex, Adobe Connect, Wiziq,Go-to-Meeting, Elluminate ?



--- Dear Ewen,

It depends of course on different factors. When low bandwidth was an issue we had very good experiences with Elluminate (but that was still in the time before it got absorbed by Blackboard) and also with WebEx as it was relatively easy to call in, in case there were problems with the internet connection.

Sometimes there were other parameters important, for example easy integration or plug-in with the learning management system (LMS) that we were working with. I remember a good integration of Dimdim or Wiziq into LMS's like Moodle.

Back in the time also have used and pretty much liked the visual approach of it. So far no experience with or

As your question is a very relevant one it would be good to start up a kind of comparison table with the different parameters so you can choose based on your specific needs. Robin Hood once started up something like that but so far only looking at low-cost or free solutions. Going for WebEx, Adobe Connect, Go-to-Meeting or Webex can involve substantial costs if your network is big. Would be good to see a comparison table of these frequently used systems.

Greetings, Tom,


Hi Ewen,

I would recommend speaking with WebGathering ( – they will provide the tech platform but they will also assist with facilitation and tech facilitation of online events. They are very experienced at providing these services in low connectivity situations across Africa, for example they facilitate the monthly Africa Hubs meetings which brings together people working in many of the Innovations and Technology Hubs across Africa (

Cheers, Duncan



we had a video session (including screensharing) for 3 days (about 6 hours/day) with partners in UK, Belgium, India, Uganda, Switzerland and South Africa - all connected at the same time. It went quite well, so we'll do it again in a few weeks.

I found Cisco Movie here:

And we used the same system!

Do you share a report afterwards, which system you used and how it worked? Would be very interesting!

All best wishes from Basel, Kristina

--- Hello There, Me and Bury are experimenting with hangouts a G+. Promising and indeed good sound! Best, Jaap

--- My experience is old and perhaps not relevant any more, but I'll throw it in here anway. We researched all of these several years ago, needing something which allows for low-bandwidth participants, is not-that-expensive, but first of all.... is cross-platform (having many linux users in our network). Web-ex and Go-to-Meeting simply didn't work on linux by then and Adobe Connect used to be quite costly (and there were also technology-related issues on linux).

We went for elluminate that since then transformed into Blackboard Collaborate. We liked its declared usability on all systems, and the fact that it put big emphasis on security. And if I remember correctly, the service was Canada-based (not US), which was also a plus for us. We've used it extensively for number of years and were generally happy with functionalities and the way it deals with bandwidth (when bandwidth goes down, it buffers the voice and then replays is in faster mode with higher pitch - a lot of fun). But we've had a lot of issues with people not being able to connect properly, or to use audio, particularly on linux. Java related problems. And Elluminate's/BC's support basically wash their hands when it comes to resolving linux java-related troubles.

So we are looking for something else, which will be truly cross-platform. We want to seriously research possibilities of self-hosted open source solution (which is much more realistic now than 3 years ago when we spent lot of time researching different alternatives). I will let you know if we find something really satisfactory.

Btw, if you are looking for a well working and real cross-platform meeting solution with only basic teleconferencing features, Google Hangout works very well. And is terribly easy to use. But I haven't really said that as I'd rather see people using good FOSS solution in near future, instead of sending more data to google...



We have had several videoconferences with up to 7 participants in google+ hangout. Acceptable video and sound, but haven't tried with more people connected. Regards, Viviana


Ewen, Based on my experience across the Andes with the use of low-band e-conferencing systems (asynchronous) with high number of participants (100-200) , I would strongly suggest to apply this low-band & low-cost technology to ensure maximum participation from different locations. This would be more cost-efficient, even if it would take some additional time, however it would ensure quality communications.

Ana Maria


Ewen, sorry for late response. I wrote a bit of this up at

What really has become the key question for me in picking a synch meeting tool is the ability to distribute controls to participants and the ESSENTIAL need for peer to peer chat, not peer to the person controlling the technology!



I see listed GotoMeeting, but another product also useful is GotoWebinar. Works very smoothly in countries like Nigeria, Ethiopia.

Luz Marina