#Coronavirus: Current Developments regarding Video Conferencing

In recent days, the German Research Network (DFN) has expanded the resources for the conference service DFNconf. More licenses as well as more hardware are now available. Furthermore, it is also possible to conduct audio conferences without video in the DFNconf service. This saves resources and helps the general availability of the service. We therefore advice you on not to use video transmission if you do not need it.

Since we assume that the demand for video conferencing solutions will continue to grow, we have evaluated several solutions over the last week that we can operate ourselves and that are suitable for the requirements at our university.

We have considered the following usage scenarios:

  • Consultation Hours:
    • 1:1 meeting between teacher and student
    • Functional requirements: telephone dial-up necessary, video optional, screen presentation
  • Consultation:
    • 1:n meeting between teacher und more students
    • Functional requirements: telephone dial-up optional, video optional, screen presentation
  • Seminar/Practical Training (Team):
    • Teachers work together with a small group in the conference room.
    • Functional requirements: video, screen presentation
  • Team Meeting
    • Staff, professorship holder oder team leader carry out group consulations
    • Functional Requirements: telephone dial up, video optional, screen presentation

We have evaluated Nextcloud Talk, Jitsi Meet and BigBlueButton. BigBlueButton meets the above requirements. Therefore, BigBlueButton is offered as a new service.


We plan to introduce BigBlueButton in two project phases:

  1. Eight public rooms are available at https://bildungsportal.sachsen.de/bbb/. Every TU user can enter these rooms in the sense of a “Common Room” and use them for his or her online scenarios. We have already successfully held conferences with 37 participants. A reservation of the rooms is not possible here, nor are all the functions of BigBlueButton available. Data stored in the system is automatically deleted after the conference has ended.
  2. Installation of a BigBlueButton server cluster that is administered by the URZ: A first prototype version can be used  under <a href=”https://webroom-test.hrz.tu-chemnitz.de”>https://webroom-test.hrz.tu-chemnitz.de</a>. The advantages of this installation are the ability to create conference rooms for users individually and to be able to provide them with password protection. The creation of new rooms is reserved for employees. We will now gradually expand this cluster to provide the necessary services and additional functions. Participation via telephone dial-up is also possible.


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