Video conferencing offers relief from European snow catastrophe

Friday, December 3 2010

Heavy snow and freezing temperatures have nearly paralyzed European travel, as major airports in Britain and Switzerland have closed and there have been hundreds of highway accidents, reports ABC News.

For businesses, the travel gridlock has been a nightmare. But for video conferencing companies, there has been a silver lining to these snow clouds.

The video conferencing industry is seeing increased demand for their services due to the wintry conditions, adding to the boost they received from travel disruptions earlier this year caused by the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud, writes the Wall Street Journal.

Regus, a company based in Stockholm, Sweden, that operates a network of business lounges, has opened its doors to snowbound travelers, offering free internet and video conferencing technology. The business has seen a 40 to 50 percent increase in video communication since the volcanic eruption, and the current snow storm has only added to its popularity.

Video conferencing demand should get a boost as a result of the recent travel disruptions forcing people to try out alternatives to physical meetings and realize they are a viable option, said Regus spokesman Henry Collinge in an interview with Dow Jones Newswires.