House of Commons to ditch Zoom in favour of British alternative

Watford-based StarLeaf is being trialled as security concerns continue to plague Zoom

The House of Commons is reportedly looking at alternatives to video conferencing service Zoom due to concerns about its security capabilities. 

The lower house of Parliament is already testing a UK-based provider called StarLeaf, according to The Telegraph

Parliament IT teams are also looking for a service that can display as many MPs as possible at once, with many members frustrated by the current system used by Zoom that jumps around when someone speaks, according to The Telegraph

StarLeaf, like a number of video conferencing services, has seen a surge in usage since the coronavirus pandemic hit and a number of organisations have looked for alternatives to Zoom due to its poor security reputation. 

Norwegian firm Pexip is also currently enjoying a big spike in users, with big-name customers such as Intel, Vodafone and even the Irish Court system. StarLeaf is said to be readying a push into both Ireland and Northern Ireland, which could be made easier with a successful trial with the UK's government. 

"The House of Commons has already purchased some hardware from us, their IT department is currently testing the software and they're doing a security analysis on us," Starleaf CTO Will MacDonald said to The Telegraph

If successful, the House of Commons will become the latest organisation to be added to the ever-expanding list of those that have ditched Zoom. Companies like Google, the FBI and even the country of Taiwan have banned the video conferencing service over issues about encryption standards and 'Zoom-bombing'

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The company has made repeated attempts to shore up its services but its reputation has taken a big hit and it's proving too much of a concern for many. The House of Commons would be the first of the government's institutions to ditch the video conferencing service, despite the Ministry of Defence labelling the services as a security risk a few months ago. 

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