Internet.org has been put up by Facebook with the goal of putting data be affordable with anyone, any place in the world. During a small event in Blue Leaf Pavilion in Fort Bonifacio, the country's biggest network Smart, through their most affordable network subsidiary Talk'N Text has announced their partnership with Internet.org with the goal of bringing not just affordable rates but free internet access to some of the most popular websites so there wouldn't be more reason not to get connected in the Philippines. This huge undertaking wouldn't be possible if it were not for the willingness of the executives and the people behind Talk'NText and Facebook.
Some of Talk'NText's brightest stars and endorsers were there to witness the occasion. Robin Padilla, Jericho Rosales and the stunning Marian Rivera are just some of them. As of this writing, only Robin and his brother was present.
Chairman of the Board and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan was there too. He's always present in big announcements like these. The tag line is #PanaloAngMayAlam (Those who know are winners!) which exactly reflects that those who have connections, the better informed ones win. A fitting statement that would best reflect their goal, of getting internet connection for 2/3 of the world population that doesn't have internet yet.
Napoleon Nazareno who heads PLDT and Smart says "This is the first internet.org partnership in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. We'll have 24 well chosen websites accesible for a whole year as we boost our "Internet for All" campaign and advocacy to make useful information accesible with Filipinos. We hope more content partners join this mission. There is still a lot of work to do but be assured of our continuing commitment."
This has been launched in Colombia, Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, India and Zambia. Markku Makelainen, the Director of Global Partnerships from Facebook says "We are working with operators, content partners and governments all over the world to address the barriers. Now, we're bringing the Internet.org app to the Philippines and give you access to internet services, tools to help create new ideas and opportunities. The potential and brilliance of people is big. We want to focus on awareness and affordability. Poverty should not be an excuse, it should be a right to access the internet to get help in employment, or just living our daily lives."
These are just some of the sites but there's more! All 24 websites will be free on the Internet.org app on Google Play so just text the word INTERNET to 9999. Now, poverty shouldn't be a reason not to get information on the Internet. Searching for tips, education, health, finances and livelihood will be free for a whole year! They are now moving towards the task of getting more people to use the Internet, and with the success of the Free Internet campaign they did a few months ago, this just can go anywhere but up!
Mobile smartphone usage has gone to 30% last year and they expect a huge jump this year. The cost of smartphones will also go down, even TalkNText has packaged it with Android Mobile Phones so in the next few months you'll see even more people in the country using data and perhaps make people appreciate and take relevance to internet connectivity in their lives.
This is Basic Internet Access for all! There's no better news than that!