Smart Pioneers Internet Freedom in Collaboration with Facebook’s Internet.Org

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Last September 2014, Smart introduced Free Internet – a huge step in bringing the internet closer to more Filipinos. It gained a lot of positive sentiments from people, and has been regarded as a pioneering act by a telco brand as the service isn’t just limited to just one app, but open to more.

With Smart’s free internet, you will be able to do the following on average:

  • 20 social media posts with photo
  • 50 web pages loads
  • 20 plain emails
  • 15 minutes of music streaming

6 months later, Facebook’s Internet.org app debuted in Southeast Asia with Smart’s Talk ‘N Text. Free Internet is just the tip of the iceberg. This further intensified the pioneering act of Smart to grow the internet penetration of the Philippines, thereby opening more opportunities and growth to more Filipinos?

But what is really Internet.org?

According to Facebook’s research, 2/3 of the world is not connected to the internet. The company believes that  connectivity (thru the internet and other related services), just like water and food, must be considered a necessity. Internet.org is Facebook’s ambitious initiative to bring this thought to realization, and the company has been in touch with several telecommunication companies to have this service rolled out to more countries.

Mark-Zuckerberg-World-Facebook-Friendship-Map

In a statement by Markku Makelainen, director of Global Operation Partnerships at Facebook, he said: “We are working with operators, content partners, and governments from all over the world to address the barriers that prevent people from connecting and joining the knowledge economy. We are excited to bring the Internet.org app to the Philippines and give people access to internet services and tools that can help create new ideas and opportunities.”

Thanks to Smart and Facebook, Filipinos can freely access curated sites such as:

  • Facebook
  • OLX
  • Jobstreet
  • Accuweather
  • BabyCenter & MAMA
  • Bing Search
  • Dictionary
  • ESPN
  • Facts for Life
  • Girl Effect
  • Inquirer.net
  • Interaksyon.com
  • Jobstreet.com
  • Pesos and Sense
  • philSTAR.com
  • RaincheckPH Lite
  • Rappler
  • Spin.ph
  • TESDA
  • Wattpad
  • wikiHow
  • wikiPedia
  • Your Money

internet dot org sites philippines

These sites go through a Free Data portal (0.internet.org), which are exclusive to Smart subscribers. This just simply means that if you wish to visit these websites thru a mobile phone browser (via internet.org) or via the app downloadable via Google Play Store, you don’t need to pay anything. Just don’t forget to have at least PhP1 load to be able to use this service. Simply fire up the browser or app and click the sites you wish to visit.

Bear in mind that this service is different from Globe’s free Facebook. The latter is just a facet or portion of Internet.org. Smart’s Internet.org is broader is many respects, and far more beneficial to end users. This is probably the reason why Globe is following suit sometime this year.

Our Opinion

Internet.org is a noble step in connecting people and bringing about more opportunities that can spark economic and lifestyle growth. Imagine the data we can all consume through this service without having to spend anything at all. For instance, the amount of information a teen can read on his Cherry Mobile One (a PhP3999 budget from Android One phone from Cherry Mobile) while using this service is vast enough to make him intellectually able.

The fierce competition between the 2 telco giants ultimately benefit Filipinos. Smart’s initiative, and Globe’s response to the competition definitely bring more value to mobile subscribers nationwide. The Philippines is a huge market for mobile, and we are – without a hint of doubt – going to grow bigger, which will also eventually increase our country’s internet penetration and e-commerce rates.

Giancarlo Viterbo is a Filipino Technology Journalist, blogger and Editor of gadgetpilipinas.net, He is also a Geek, Dad and a Husband. He knows a lot about washing the dishes, doing some errands and following instructions from his boss on his day job. Follow him on twitter: @gianviterbo and @gadgetpilipinas.

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