After a year-long push by the Republicans in the House of Representatives, it looks like they finally got what they want. It has been reported that the members of the House of Representatives will be allowed to use VoIP services like ooVoo and Skype for official communications.
“We are pleased to announce that, after working with Republican Leaders and various House stakeholders, Members and staff can now use popular video teleconferencing services within the House network to communicate with constituents. “During a time when Congress must do more with less, we believe that these low-cost, real-time communication tools will be an effective way to inform and solicit feedback from constituents.
We thank the CAO for ensuring that Members and staff can utilize these services while maintaining the necessary level of IT security within the House network, and look forward to identifying additional technological solutions to communication and transparency roadblocks.”
– Joint statement issued June 28, 2011 by Committee on House Administration Chairman Dan Lungren (R-Calif) and House Technology Operations Team Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah).
Both ooVoo and Skype are supported on the House network, however Skype users will be limited to video calls on the House’s public WiFi to minimize security risks, while ooVoo has no such restrictions. That’s quite an interesting fact, seeing that Skype is the more popular of the two services. Here is the press release from ooVoo and Skype.