To use a cellular wireless platform, allowing for ease of installation and the re-use of hardware in later elections.
3G M2M Benefits:
- Installation set up times reduced
- Re-useable hardware (capital saving)
- Ability to post results from the returning officer online.
For the Queensland council elections in May 08 it was decided to move away from the established method that saw the returning officers faxing back the results to the ECQ HQ. Now the results would be provided online. This would obviously entail a more complex communications set-up, but with no change to the short timeframes available for installation in a wide variety of geographically dispersed premises offering differing levels of ADSL connectivity.
The solution was to use a 3G network. This solved the issue of geography and the need to install consistent ADSL access. By using a 3G network, the ECQ were able to have the communications in place within days rather than weeks.
The NetComm Wireless M2M device was the preferred choice for this complex and logistically challenging communications project. The ruggedized metal casing and the ‘Keep Alive’ system monitoring capability of the NetComm Wireless M2M device made it ideal for installation throughout the ECQ’s operations. Specifically designed for industrial and commercial usage, this high-speed router has extremely flexible configuration capabilities that make it readily adaptable to specific user needs.
The Electoral Commission of Queensland is an independent body that monitors and manages council and government elections in the state. As election dates tend to be set at short notice, the ECQ works under tight deadlines to organise premises for voting and counting and in finding casual staff. The ECQ’s other major challenge is in the installation of the communications links necessary for each of these locations to tie the voting, counting and reporting processes together.
The result was that for the first time the ECQ were able to post the votes of over two million people for 73 councils directly into their central web server, allowing for the results to be viewed online by the public. The ECQ’s Peter Jeavons says that the exercise was a great success in itself and an excellent trial for the state elections later in the year. The ECQ now has a game plan that can be used over again when needed.
The use of the NetComm Wireless M2M device and 3G network means that the ECQ has benefited in both time and cost savings whilst adding an additional quality of service to the public. They now also have the chance to re-use the hardware purchased, bringing them additional cost savings at every future election.