We have conducted a feasibility study to establish whether ENT tele-endoscopy would be a suitable method of service delivery for patients who live in the Shetland Islands. Ten clinics were conducted over a period of 17 months using ISDN-based videoconferencing at a bandwidth of 384 kbit/s. A total of 42 patients were seen in Aberdeen via videoconferencing for a head and neck cancer assessment. Feasibility was confirmed after the first 20 patients, following positive feedback from all concerned and the absence of any significant clinical or technical problems. A total of 42 journeys was avoided, each journey saving 123 kg CO(2) per person. A preliminary cost analysis showed that the threshold at which tele-ENT became cheaper than travel was a workload of 35 patients/year. The actual workload during the pilot study was 29 patients/year. A national telemedicine service for the initial assessment of potential malignancy has the potential to reduce unnecessary transfers to specialist centres, with accompanying reductions in carbon emissions.