The use of this communications tool as a replacement for travel has been rapidly increasing in recent years and at a mere fraction of the cost. According to a recent Frost & Sullivan tracking report, the audio conferencing market generated 14.5 billion minutes in 2003; total traffic volume expects to surpass 35 billion minutes by 2010. The technology’s potential is unlimited as the numbers of ways people and businesses connect and communicate.

Generally, most conferencing providers charge a monthly fee for providing the bridge that links all the calls together; but with Freenet, accountants can erase even this expense from the books because there is no charge for basic services*. Freenet provides up to 100 lines for as long as three continual hours. And there is no need to go through a reservations department—simply sign in, fill out and submit the short form, and the company will send the login PIN number by e-mail—secure, efficient, and certainly cost effective!

As any company accountant can readily deduce, traveling to Europe or Asia to meet with colleagues for a joint work session can run into the hundreds of dollars. The cost of flying within the United States is rising sharply as well, especially during peak times of the year. Pencil in the cost of car rentals, meals, lodging, and lost productivity due to cumbersome airport delays, and the expense side of the ledger becomes weighty indeed.

Although some business circumstances may necessitate face-to-face meetings requiring an outlay of time and travel expenses, many others can be conducted free by using Freenet as your Free Conference service provider. It’s a line worth having.

*Their long-distance carrier will bill participants for minutes used