BT opens lines to link families
For the first time British troops on active service can now speak to - and see - their families on a videoconference terminal. BT is offering the VC 7000 facility free until 4 January. The facility, which has been familiar to viewers of Star Trek for decades but only recently became available, made a dramatic impression particularly on the service families' young children.
Jeremy Hanley, the Armed Forces Minister, was the first to be connected from London to Vitez, where he talked to the commanding officer of the Coldstream Guards battalion group, Lt-Col Peter Williams.
At first the picture seemed in slow motion, and there was a time-lag between lip movements and the sounds. But as the system warmed up, it seemed to get better.
Rona Rutherford and her sons, Christopher, four, and David, 10 months, were the first to talk to Staff Sgt Ian Rutherford, of the Royal Signals, who helped instal the BT telephones and the video facility in Vitez. They were joined, mistakenly, by an enthusiastic Arabella Toler, also four, daughter of Major Hugh Toler, the Coldstream Guards' second-in-command, and his wife, Victoria. Then Major Toler appeared on the screen, leading to shrieks of delight.
Mrs Rutherford was unable to suppress a tear. 'It was just so nice to see him. We'll have another word later'.
S/Sgt Rutherford and Major Toler are only starting their six-month tours, having been in Vitez since early November.
Abigail Keep's husband, Robert, 20, a signalman, is nearing the end of his tour and is due to come home in January. The couple wed in June just before he left for Bosnia. 'My best Christmas present will be him coming home,' 19- year-old Mrs Keep said.
- 1 Michael Douglas regrets 'embarrassing' Catherine Zeta-Jones with oral sex comments
- 2 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 3 Tunisian builder has been hailed a hero after knocking gunman to the ground with roof tiles
- 4 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 5 Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L James's Twitter Q&A didn't go exactly as planned
Michael Douglas regrets 'embarrassing' Catherine Zeta-Jones with oral sex comments
Kim Jong-un shows off airport designed by architect he likely had executed
Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
Ex-Scientologist Carmen Llwyelyn blasts 'cult' and her treatment after divorce with Jason Lee
Tunisian builder has been hailed a hero after knocking gunman to the ground with roof tiles
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Extend Right To Buy to tenants of private landlords, Labour's Jeremy Corbyn says
David Cameron struck double blow in his hopes to win Britain a new EU deal
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...
£16575 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity is ava...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading and innovative con...