Like most of you, I have been closely watching the COVID-19 coronavirus public health emergency that has impacted many around the world. Living in Washington State, the most impacted region in the US, I have seen firsthand how the outbreak is shaking up our community, and how businesses and schools of all sizes are struggling to maintain continuity.
At Agora, we believe everyone in the world should be able to connect with others through audio and video over the Internet, just like any basic utility. Ever since the company was founded in 2014, we’ve offered 10,000 free monthly minutes to any developer who wants to create an app with voice and video capabilities. At a time when business, healthcare, educational, and government organizations are increasingly leaning into reliable and scalable video conferencing, telemedicine, and e-learning solutions, it’s our responsibility to do everything we can to help our community deal with the outbreak and sustain operations.
With more institutions turning to virtual, online solutions to keep things operating business as usual during this time, networks will become highly congested and will cause many video-based apps to fail. Agora’s Software-Defined Real-time Network (SD-RTN™), a dedicated network designed for low-latency and high-scale, has been put to the test during high traffic times and has withstood the sudden spike in demand. We managed to quadruple the number of peak concurrent users and reached 1.6 billion minutes of daily usage with zero downtime, when the COVID-19 coronavirus was rapidly spreading in China during the Chinese Spring Festival holiday.
To share our knowledge and expertise with all institutions exploring options to navigate the outbreak, we are now announcing a comprehensive program with dedicated resources and support, including:
Offerings to Support Education Continuity
For schools and educational institutions who need a solution for displaced students during the outbreak, we are offering an online classroom application to support a variety of remote learning needs, from 1-to-1 tutoring, small classroom, to lecture hall class streaming. The application features extreme low latency audio/video streaming, whiteboard, screen sharing and messaging, delivering an engaging online learning experience for the students.
This application will be free to all qualified public schools and nonprofit educational institutions whose education continuity is disrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak. We will also provide a dedicated support team to help schools onboard and go live.
For example, we recently announced our collaboration with New Oriental Education & Technology Group, one of the largest providers of private educational services in the world, to launch the “New Oriental Cloud Classroom.” The platform provides a remote, interactive classroom experience to aid in the displacement of students and teachers during the coronavirus outbreak in China. Through this partnership, we were able to successfully bring more than one million students into virtual classrooms in just seven days.
In addition, for those educational institutions that are using Box, you can get Agora Video Call, a free plugin that allows Box users to easily launch video conferencing from within the Box application, enabling seamless communication and collaboration.
To get access to the education offerings above, please fill out this short form and our team will be in touch.
Low-Code and No-Code Video Conferencing Application
With a dedicated network and device-optimized SDKs, Agora is the only real-time engagement platform designed to cross borders and reach all users globally, including those on low-bandwidth networks and on low-powered devices.
If you are a developer looking to build a reliable video conferencing app that works everywhere in the world, we have a few resources to help you do so quickly with just a few lines of code (or no code at all).
- Feature-packed video conferencing demo app for mobile (iOS and Android) and Web platforms: These samples are open-sourced and customizable to help significantly decrease the time to launch, giving you a headstart on the implementation.
- Agora Video for WordPress: This easy-to-use WordPress plugin lets you easily add video conferencing to your WordPress website. No code required.
- Managed UI kit (beta): You can use these managed UI services to help expedite the development of your app, everything from color schemes to the layout of the UI.
“There’s an app for that”
You don’t need to be disconnected during the time of “social distancing”! Many of our customers and partners offer innovative applications designed for people to stay connected online when they are physically apart from each other. No matter what, we need to go on with our work and life, from enterprise collaboration and virtual conferences, telemedicine and remote fitness offerings, to live streamed concerts and virtual tourism, there’s an app for that!
Our annual AllThingsRTC event in San Francisco is a perfect example. While we decided to postpone the event from the current June 9-10, 2020 date, we will not let this stop us from connecting and engaging with our community. Therefore, we will be launching a new AllThingsRTC online series using AirMeet, a platform for virtual meetups and events from the Agora for Startups program. Through this forum, we will feature all those innovative apps and how they help us stay connected in almost every aspect of our lives during times we can’t physically be together.
We are fully committed to supporting our current and future customers during this time, and have set up a global task force that is dedicated to this effort, including proactively monitoring our network to ensure maximum reliability and zero downtime amid any usage spikes.
Thank you for your continued trust in Agora, and please reach out to our team should you want access to any of the offerings:
Stay healthy and resilient!