Texas Connects Coalition Announces Skype Free Video Calling Around the World at Bastrop Public Library

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SMITHVILLE – July 23, 2012 – The Texas Connects Coalition (TXC2) announced today that Skype free video calling is coming to the Bastrop Public Library. TXC2 is sponsoring a community open house with refreshments at the library on August 1 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. to introduce state-of-the-art, high definition Skype services to Bastrop county residents.

Skype is the Internet’s most popular voice and video calling application. All you need is a free account to connect with audio, text and video calls. In addition to allowing millions of people to make free personal and business voice and video calls, the program is very popular with military families communicating with service members stationed in different American time zones and deployed overseas.

The Bastrop library was chosen as a Skype community hub because it has individual study rooms off the main library area. Users can talk to family and friends without interrupting other patrons and have more privacy than if they called from a common area. The library also has dedicated high speed broadband connections. To make Skype a reality at the center, Technology For All (TFA), a Texas non-profit organization and member of TXC2 coalition, is providing Skype training, additional cameras, and headphones with built-in microphones so users can talk to loved ones with better sound in high definition.

To reserve a 30-minute time slot during the 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. timeframe August 1, call the Bastrop Public Library at 512 332 8880 or stop at the information desk to register for a Skype appointment. Space is limited, and the person you are calling must have a Skype account and know when you will be calling to talk face-to-face.

If you do not have a Skype account, a free Skype training workshop and account sign up will be held at the library Tuesday, July 31 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. There will also be assistance during the open house.

For military callers, please note time differences between Bastrop’s central daylight time zone and your service member’s location. Examples: Afghanistan 9.5 hours ahead; Germany 8 hours ahead; West Coast United States 2 hours behind.

The August 1 open house is part of the larger TXC2 “Broadband Across Texas Week.” A nonprofit partnership between Austin Free-Net (Austin) and Technology For All (Houston, San Antonio and rural Texas), TXC2 will have more than 80 computer labs participating in this celebratory week. The Bastrop event is being coordinated by TFA’s office in Smithville.

“It is our continued goal to break down the barriers to digital inequality,” states Dr. Will Reed, president and CEO of Technology For All. “In doing so, we often break down the barriers of geography and human connection. By offering Texans free public access to state-of-the-art technology and Internet training, they have immediate access to the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to take advantage of their digital world.”

TXC2 is the recipient of a 2010 Broadband Technology Opportunities Program federal grant from the U. S. Department of Commerce. The Texas Connects Coalition is a collaborative project between TFA and Texas non-profit Austin Free-Net. With local community relationships, TXC2 provides computer and Internet access, training and more for Texans with limited access to digital opportunities in the Austin, Houston, San Antonio, central Texas and Brazos Valley regions. Get more information at www.txc2.org, www.austinfree.net or www.techforall.org.

Media Contacts:
Technology For All Smithville: Fran Hunter
(512) 237-7025

Technology For All Houston: Katie McGranahan
(713) 454-6412

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