In an effort to enhance efficiency, reduce travel times and improve communications with their constituents, members of the U.S. Congress will have access to Skype video calls, the pioneering video-phone service provider announced on its blog.

“Members of Congress can reduce travel time and related costs while increasing and improving communications, transparency, and government accountability through the experience of Skype video calling,” Staci Pies, part of Skype’s government relations team, wrote.

“Skype enables lawmakers to hold meetings with their constituents who are unable to travel to the Congressional office, participate in virtual town hall meetings when the Member is not in her District, and build relationships and collaborate more effectively with other Members on important legislative efforts.

Skype engineers had to work closely and win the approval of the Congressional security team in order to ensure the safety and security of Congressional communications. Each Congressional office will have access to a Skype Manager account so that administration can be centralized. Congressional members and their staffs will be able to configure privacy settings.

“We look forward to working with the U.S. Senate, as well as other government agencies and lawmakers around the globe to facilitate the use of Skype and other broadband-enabled applications,” Pies wrote.


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