Audio Conferencing (voice) at SLAC

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Conferencing home
Audio conferencing
 Cost of ECS
 Joining a conference
 Linking audio & video confs.
 Register as an ECS user
 Scheduling a conference

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Revised: 5/21/2008


Different audio conferencing connection methods

  1. Using the SLAC telephone system. You use your own telephone equipment at the office; there are facilities built right into the SLAC phone switch. The Phone Guide explains how to use them in How to Place a Conference Call.

  2. ECS: Digital Collaboration via ESNet. ESnet's Collaboration Service (ECS) provides multi-site, room-based video/data/audio conferencing and web accessible calendaring through the ESNet audio bridge. The equipment and support facilities are operated and maintained at the ESnet site at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.   ECS is generally a higher quality, more robust, easier-to-manage connection than our phone switch. It costs only as much as a telephone call to Berkeley, California, and it works very well. We strongly recommend the ECS service.


Scheduling an  ECS conference

Register with ECS and set up your own conferences

If you schedule many conferences, you might want to register directly with DCS through their Web site ECS.  Here are some general guidelines but the process is subject to change from time to time:

  1. You need to be a registered ECS user to make your own audio conference reservations.  Once you register, you'll receive an email telling you your new user name and password, also referencing the "house rules" you are going to abide by whenever you use ECS. Be sure to read those rules. You aren't only abiding by the SLAC computer user's rules when conferencing on ECS.
  2. Go to the change password web and change your password immediately.
  3. User Registration needs preferences information on you. Navigate to that page and fill in your name, phone, email, office location, etc. If you are asked which resources you want to schedule, specify 'Audio and Video Conferences.'
  4. You'll be asked for your name and password. Try giving the new one you've just designated. If that doesn't work, use the one the system gave you to start out with.
  5. Once you've completed that, you're ready to reserve a slot for an audio conference. When you reserve an audio conference you do not have to enter a conference room name. You need to fill in only the title of the audio conference, date, time, length, number of ports, and the meeting id number.
  6. Close your web browser at the end of each reservation session to protect your password.

To set up your own ECS conference, enter your user name and password, log in to ECS, check the calendar, choose an available conference time, and schedule your own conference. You and all your fellow designees will get an identical confirming email.


Every Audio conference has a meeting ID. You'll be given this ID (or you'll designate one) when you register for the conference. Participants will need to specify this number when they call into the audio bridge to get connected to their conference. Meeting ID numbers must be 4 digit numbers (0000 - 9999). If you do not select a number when you reserve your conference, or if you select an invalid ID, it will be set to an automatically generated conference ID number. 

You can enter in participant information for each audio port.  If you enter in conference participant email addresses, they will each be sent notifications about the conference being created and a reminder the day before the meeting.

Problems?  The ESNet support staff will try to help you schedule a conference.



The ECS audio bridge service is free. The only cost is a phone call to the audio bridge (located in Berkeley, California).

Linking an audio conference with a videoconference

ECS audio bridge conferences can be tied in with ECS video conferences.

Participating in a ECS voice conference

  1. Prior to the meeting you will usually receive a confirmation/reminder email designating the telephone number to call, a list of the participants, and an ID to use when you call.
  2. At the time of the conference, you call the number, identify yourself, and follow the instructions for entering the ID.
  3. You will then be announced to the others who have already joined the conference and you will join the conference.
  4. You may leave the conference by hanging up at any time, and may rejoin by calling the number and entering the ID as before. 

For all audio phone conference please use the ECS Audio Bridge and NOT the gateway. If you don't know the difference the numbers for the audio bridge are 510-665-etc versus 510-883-etc for the gateway. The gateway is to be used for those wishing to join video conferences who do not have video capabilities or require ISDN connections into same.

Deprecated Services

SLAC also has a contract with a vendor (EZ-Telecom) that provides voice conferencing services. This is NOT recommended due to the high cost.  These services require calling an audio conferencing bridge on the East Coast, and cost about $.21/minute/attendee (US$) even if you schedule it but do not actually use it as scheduled.