AT&T; Phases Out Part of Its Video-Meeting Service

Associated Press

American Telephone & Telegraph Co. has phased out part of its video-meeting service by closing six of 11 center-city television studio meeting rooms, company officials said Friday.

AT&T; Information Systems spokesman Mike Tarpey said that, while the company had once planned to expand to 42 cities, the executives who used the service preferred to have televised telephone conferences from meeting rooms in hotels, where parking was easier and food and beverage service was available.

The Los Angeles public meeting room was the first to be closed, on Nov. 30. AT&T; closed its Chicago meeting place Dec. 31, along with rooms in Houston, Pittsburgh, Detroit and Boston.

AT&T; still has public rooms in New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Atlanta and San Francisco that Tarpey said will be "open indefinitely." He refused to discuss how much AT&T; might have made or lost on video conferencing in the years it has been offering the service.

When AT&T; was broken up on Jan. 1, 1984, the video-meeting business was split between the company's Information Systems and AT&T; Communications, another subsidiary that handles only the transmission of the company's Picturephone service.

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