Facebook and Smart Communications announce partnership to give free internet access in the Philippines

Facebook founder and chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg announced the launching of an application in the Philippines that will offer free 24/7 mobile Internet service.

In a partnership with the largest local telecommunication company, Smart Communications Inc., Zuckerberg introduced the Internet.org app that would give Filipinos a free internet access to some websites after he posted on his Facebook account a photo of a tricycle passenger using Facebook on her phone to stay in touch with loved ones abroad.

Mark Zuckerberg - Internet.org PH
Zuckerberg’s post on his Facebook account after announcing Internet.org in the Philippines

Smart Communications president and chief executive officer Napoleon Nazareno said the deal would involve the introduction of the Internet.org app to offer mobile internet services without data charges to subscribers of Smart, Talk N Text and Sun Cellular.

“Smart’s partnership with Facebook is a big boost to our ‘Internet for All’ campaign, an advocacy we have been strongly pushing for. By launching Internet.org app with Facebook in the Philippines, we are making useful information within reach of millions of Filipinos,” Nazareno said in a statement.

Smart Communications is the first telecommunications company to launch the app in the country. The partnership also marks the first time that Internet.org would be available in the Southeast Asia region.