PLDT, Globe Telecom deny Comelec claims of weak signals

By: Miguel R. Camus, May 17th, 2013 05:44 AM

MANILA, Philippines—The country’s two major telecommunications providers denied on Thursday claims made by the Commission on Elections that weak signals played a major role in the delayed transmission of results in Monday’s elections.

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) said in a statement that its mobile networks, including those of Smart and Sun Cellular, “were fully functional throughout the exercise.”

Ayala-led Globe Telecom said that its help desk stationed at the National Support Center had yet to receive a single transmission-related concern from the election’s technology provider Smartmatic.

The statements were issued after Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. cited weak telecommunications signals in many areas as one reason for the slow transmission of election results.

PLDT said that results sent through its networks were “promptly” delivered to the servers of the Comelec and its citizens’ arm, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV).

“It is worth pointing out that in the May 2010 elections, nearly 80 percent of the election results were successfully transmitted to the central data servers of the Comelec and the PPCRV 12 hours after the polling precincts were closed,” PLDT said. “From a purely telecoms standpoint, there is no reason why a similar, if not better, result should have been achieved in 2013.”

Froilan Castelo, head of Globe’s corporate and legal services group, said that the company’s help desk and its network engineers were on standby “24/7 even before the start of the polling to ensure prompt data transmission.”

“Our people are on call round-the-clock to assist any transmission-related concerns. So far, we received none from Smartmatic,” Castelo said.

Globe has consistently complied with all the service requirements of Smartmatic for the 2013 election since January, he said.

PLDT in 2012 completed its $1.6-billion network modernization program. Globe is expected to complete its own $790 million modernization program this year.

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