What is an H.323 gateway?

What is an H.323 gateway that Microsoft Netmeeting 2.1 claims to support calling a standard telephone and how do I know if I, my ISP, or my telephone provider have the right hardware and software to accomplish this? Where do I find the necessary HW/SW and info on this too?
dvongradAsked:
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PBMaxCommented:
A H.323 gateway is just a standard for Video Conferencing over the internet.  Just like some Modems are v.32bis this is just the name of the standard.  This is probably saying that Netmeeting can interface with a video conference board that supports H.323


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dvongradAuthor Commented:
I *know* it's a standard, but I still want to know what kind of hardware/software makes it a standard such that it can dial a phone and potentially save me long-distance charges.
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dentCommented:
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