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MANILA, Philippines, May 12, 2016 – For the country’s leading telecoms and digital services provider, the just-concluded national elections were “largely uneventful.”
That helped the transmission of elections results to proceed rapidly. As Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Chairman Andres Bautista said, election returns from over 91% of the country’s 92,509 clustered precincts were successfully transmitted to the COMELEC and its citizen’s arm, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) within 18 hours from the close of the polls.
Timely transmission to the PPCRV transparency server in turn enabled media organizations to quickly report the results, helping dispel fears that political tensions would flare up in the aftermath of the heated political campaign.
“The fact that the elections from a telco transmission point of view was largely uneventful was welcome news to all of us. We were happy to do our share in making this possible,” Pangilinan said.
“To make that happen, our entire organization prepared thoroughly for this very important national event, and was on full alert prior to and on election day itself. As it turned out, our network performed smoothly, enabling voting precincts to quickly transmit election returns,” said PLDT Group EVP and ePLDT President and CEO Ernesto R. Alberto.
PLDT and its wireless subsidiaries Smart Communications and Sun provided high bandwidth voice and data connectivity to Smartmatic, which handled election automation services for the COMELEC, Alberto explained.
Smart and Sun accounted for 60% of the pool of SIMs used by Smartmatic to transmit election returns from precincts. PLDT also powered the DSL broadband connection of 386 canvassing sites. To ensure problem-free transmission of results to the national board of canvassers, the company deployed technical support teams to the canvassing sites.
Further, the PLDT Group donated fiber-optic cable connectivity and hosting services to the PPCRV for their transparency servers which supplied election results data to the various media organizations, Alberto added.
PLDT also partnered with media organizations to support their fast and digitally-enabled election coverage. It provided some of the connectivity requirements of GMA7 for its coverage and of ABS-CBN in its hosting of the presidential debate at the University of Pangasinan.
Moreover, PLDT supported the data-driven coverage of TV5, resulting in its lag-free reporting of live events, clearer presentation of collected data, and interactive reporting via use of social media.
“About a year ago, we (TV5) started planning for this election coverage. We wanted to improve on the 2010 and 2013 record of TV5 and for PLDT and Smart to provide the access and connectivity to TV5. Most important for TV5 is the data and how that data is reported. That’s why you’re seeing the kind of description of the events on a national level, local level, all the way down to the precinct level and the councilor level at almost real-time,” said Pangilinan who is also Chairman of TV5, a unit of Mediaquest Holdings which is owned by the PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund.
“This is real convergence at work - the telco providing the connectivity, the access to the data that the TV network gathers, curates and presents to the public in an understandable manner,” he said.
TV5 President and CEO Noel Lorenzana said their efforts were focused on giving their audience a truly data-enriched coverage of the national elections.
“We are all connected to the transparency server of PPCRV so we are able to download the raw data from PPCRV. But for TV5, we made sure that we are able to process this data at faster pace and to translate it to information that enrich our viewers’ understanding of the election results,” he noted.
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