In this paper, we present the design and implementation of the Beteus (Broadband Exchange for Trans-European Usage) communication platform. BETEUS is an european project aiming at developing a generic, stable, flexible and scalable communication platform which provides support for interactive work between distributed end-users. In terms of interactive work, BETEUS concentrates on distributed classrooms, tele-seminars, multimedia document archival and retrieval and tele-tutoring. The problems raised during the realization of the BETEUS communication platform are outlined and the proposed solutions explained. The follow-up of BETEUS in Switzerland through the TELEPOLY project which concerns operational teleteaching between the two Swiss federal institutes of technology (EPFL and ETHZ) is also presented.