28 November 2012

Burkina Faso: SES to Provide Satellite Services for Connected Elections

Photo: L'Observateur Paalga
A poll worker.

Satellite equipment provider, Newtec has supplied a VSAT system and IP satellite modems to Burkina Faso, enabling flexible satellite connectivity for the upcoming municipal and legislative elections set to take place on 2 December 2012, being administered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (la Commission Electorale Nationale Indépendante,(CENI) with SES Broadband Services delivering the full service via its 5 degrees East orbital position.

The equipment will facilitate 'always on' connectivity between 45 remote electoral district offices which serve as the hubs for 14,698 polling stations across the West African country and the central election office in the capital, Ouagadougou. The system will be used for video conferencing and surveillance, Internet access and fast and secure communication of ballots.

According to Serge Van Herck, CEO of Newtec. "It is an honour for our technology to be used to facilitate the electoral process in Burkina Faso," "Satellite is the most affordable communication technology with seamless coverage of the whole country.

Our equipment will provide essential connectivity between the remote polling sites, allowing for fast, efficient and secure communication between provinces and CENI's central office. It will also be available for government-led activities across the country after the elections."

"The selected SES technology will facilitate a transparent electoral process, providing rapid and highly reliable data transfers. A series of innovations will also be introduced, including the use of biometrics for the voter registration. The selected satellite VSAT platform gives the advantage of quick deployment for fast transmission of electoral data from remote locations," said Mr. Barthelemy Kéré, President of the CENI.

This satellite technology will enhance rapid, secure data collection, aggregation, transfer and verification; a stable, sustainable communication system between all the sites resulting in the improved security of the electoral process, plus the legacy of a top-tier communication system which can be re-used or redeployed.

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