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For a long time, videoconferencing was like a bad blind date. Everything seemed great on paper, but in person — well, the polite word was “disappointment.” Put aside issues of cost (high), technical complexity (lots), and user-friendliness (none), the pictures just looked bad: all fuzzy and jittery. And because video taxed a network a lot more than data did, even the specialized, expensive phone lines firms used for videoconferences couldn’t keep up. The result: annoying delays in the conversation. In theory, videoconferencing was a great way to do business — no travel hassle or costs. In practice, it was a pretty lousy one.

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