ITU adopts VoIP, video conferencing standard

Video conferencing via the Internet has just been made easier with the release of a new standard that provides a consistent way for storing and finding information related to video and voice over IP (VoIP) in enterprise directories.

Adopted by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the H.350 standard was developed by the Internet2 Middleware Initiative working group and will make videoconferencing less expensive, the ITU said Thursday.

The ITU is an international body that sets standards for the telecommunications industry while Internet2 is a consortium of universities, which work with industry and government to accelerate Internet technology.

The H.350 standard employs lightweight directory access protocol (LDAP) to link account management and authorization automation to the enterprise directory, allowing users to scale up their user base.

This means that H.350 would allow faculty and students at a university, for example, to look up directories – which include personal video conferencing access information, or VoIP information – just like they would look up a phone number today said Jill Gemmill, assistant director of academic computing at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, Ala., who helped develop H.350.

Also, managers can use H.350 to create a centralized database to store user authentication credentials instead of replicating from other lists, Gemmill said.

This functionality can be built in at the server level, which some vendors are taking an interest in, such as Radvision Ltd., or network managers can build the functionality in themselves.

H.350 supports H.320, the ISDN video conferencing standard, H.323, a video and VoIP standard and session initiation protocol (SIP).

The ITU is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. For more information visit The Internet2 Group is online at