Safaricom clarifies election role
Safaricom has issued a statement clarifying its role in the election, saying its VPN had 100% uptime in the areas it covered. This comes in response to ‘public concern’ over technical glitches during the election.
Safaricom noted that it was one of several service providers contracted by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission “IEBC” to provide network connectivity for the electronic transmission of electoral results.
In a statement, signed by CEO Bob Collymore, the telco said: “In accordance with the terms of our contract with the IEBC , Safaricom’s responsibilities were twofold, the first was to provide the virtual private network (VPN) for the conveyance of the results from polling stations across the country previously identified as having sufficient mobile coverage to the IEBC’s constituency, county and national tallying center infrastructure. The second was to deliver 17,900 original manufacturer warranted handsets to the IEBC for use by polling staff for purposes of transmitting electronic results. Safaricom was neither involved in the supply of the software to be used on the mobile handsets nor the distribution and storage of the devices.”
“The observed traffic on the VPN provided by Safaricom did not exceed 3.5 Mbps at any time. When put in to context this is a small fraction of the 3,000 Mbps traffic we observe at any time in our network. The total number of mobile devices provisioned to be used by the IEBC polling staff to relay results on the Safaricom VPN were 32,000, this represents only 2% of the 1.5 million devices connected to our data network at any given time.”
It said Safaricom’s role was simply to provide connectivity between the mobile devices and the IEBC tallying centers. “Safaricom did not and does not have any role in the technical design, management or specification of the servers, the mobile software application nor the graphic presentation of the results data used by the IEBC. The Safaricom mobile and virtual private network has remained robust with 100% uptime in all areas where coverage was to be provided. Safaricom has provided unrestricted access to representatives of the 8 presidential candidates to assess and monitor its network performance. All of them were and still are confident in our network quality.”