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Comelec halts network survey in Maguindanao

Posted on: November 26, 2009

Comelec halts network survey in Maguindanao

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 16:28:00 11/26/2009

Filed Under: Technology (general), Elections, Eleksyon 2010

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has suspended indefinitely its survey of available network infrastructure in Maguindanao province following Monday’s massacre of 50 people that included relatives of a local official and journalists.

“The personnel of Smartmatic and Total Information Management (TIM) have suspended for safety concerns the network site survey in some parts of Maguindanao, particularly near the area where a gubernatorial candidate’s family and several media men have been killed,” said Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal.

“For now, we are talking with the regional election director there on what best to do before proceeding,” Larrazabal said.

Despite this, the Comelec is confident this would not delay the preparations for the site survey, which is crucial to ensure electronic transmission from poll automation machines that will be used in the May 2010 elections.

“Despite a slight delay in Maguindanao, the time line for finishing the site survey is tight but manageable and we expect to finish 98 percent (of the site survey) done by year-end and the remaining in January,” Larrazabal said.

The survey maps out available technologies in that can be used to transmit data from polling precincts to Comelec’s central servers, either via SMS or text messaging or via Internet through WiFi, Wimax or satellite technology.

Through automation, Comelec has said it expects to declare winners in next year’s presidential elections in 48 hours.

Earlier this month, Comelec and Smartmatic-TIM moved the deadline for the nationwide site survey from November 30 to early January due to several tropical storms that hit the country and destroyed public telecommunications networks.

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