§ Mr. Gordon Prentice
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the growth of tele-conferencing in United Kingdom business; and if he will make a statement. 546W
§ Mr. Wills
The Department of Trade and Industry's recently published international benchmarking study, "Moving into the Information Age 1999", shows that UK businesses are making increasing use of `video-conferencing' (usage rose to 22 per cent. from 14 per cent. in the previous year), and lead the G7 countries in this area. No separate figures are collected for telephone conferencing.
The Department is encouraging further use of `video-conferencing' through its Information Society Initiative, which encourages UK businesses to take better advantage of information and communications technologies to improve their performance.