13/ 09/ 2017
FEFA met with representatives of telecommunication companies at the conference hall of Afghanistan Telecom Regulatory Authority (ATRA). The representatives of Roshan, Etisalat, MTN, Afghan Telecome, Wasil Telecom and Afghan Wireless telecommunication companies attended this meeting. The objective of this meeting was getting information about telecommunication and internet coverage of these companies.
At the beginning of the meeting, Mohammad Farid Afghanzai, FEFA’s senior technical advisor and Rahmatullah Salehi, FEFA’s election officer thanked ATRA for helping in organization of this meeting and presented brief information about FEFA and said, “FEFA is intended to collect its election observation reports, from 34 province, through SMS and pay its observers through mobile. Therefore, we have the following questions:
- How many districts are under telecommunication and internet coverage?
- Are there regions which are not under coverage?
- In how many district, we can transfer money through mobile?
Then, the representatives of telecommunication companies thanked the representatives of FEFA for appearing in the meeting and appreciated FEFA for its intention to utilize internet and mobile for promoting the election observation process. They considered this intention a step toward standardizing national processes and bolstering the principles of democracy. Subsequently, they answered FEFA’s questions as below:
- The telecommunication companies can’t determine the number of districts they have covered since there are some regions in the districts which are not under coverage. If FEFA wants to acquire accurate statistics in this regard, it must share the location of polling centers with ATRA. Then ATRA will share the location of polling centers with the telecommunication companies and let FEFA know about their coverage.
- Some districts and regions are not under the coverage of telecommunication companies. There are even regions where satellite is not working.
- They acknowledged that transfer of money through mobile is possible but the telecommunication companies can’t pay to observers in the regions if there are no banks in the regions.