Scandinavian Connection Puts ECU in Helsinki
(Nov. 4, 1998)
Telephone lines, cameras and microphones at East Carolina University's Joyner Library let ECU and city officials participate in a conference Wednesday in Helsinki, Finland.
Diana Henshaw, director of the Division of Continuing Studies and Richard Ringeisen, vice chancellor of Academic Affairs, represented ECU while Greenville's Mayor Nancy Jenkins spoke on behalf of the city.
The conference on community development was being held in the Arabia Ranta suburb of Helsinki. Henshaw said Arabia Ranta wants to became the "high tech model city" for northern Europe.
She said the conference chose ECU as a test and demonstration of the city's new data transmission network. ECU has a working relationship with Finland's University of Art and Design. The three representatives in Greenville bid their welcome to the conference participants and urged close cooperation in projects. In one conversation, Jenkins spoke about how impressed she was with the city when she made a visit there a few years ago.
After her remarks, Helsinki's mayor Evarita Siitonen rushed to the microphone and invited her to return.
"We wish to keep contact with you," she said. The transmission between Greenville and Europe on Wednesday was a milestone event. ECU communicates regularly over the North Carolina Information Highway, but this transmission originated in Finland and required the use of three, ISDN (Integrated Service Digital Network) phone lines. The ISDN lines and equipment produced a video image that was slightly reduced in quality, but the participants deemed it to be perfectly acceptable for the exchange of information and diplomacy.