MVP and Zuckerberg explore ways to make the Internet accessible to more Filipinos
Homegrown bilyonaryo and PLDT chairman/CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan, or MVP, met with global bilyonaryo and Facebook founder/CEO Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook’s new campus in Menlo Park, California, to further strengthen their partnership to bring the Internet and its benefits to more Filipinos.
MVP’s meeting with Zuckerberg forms part of a series of engagements with Silicon Valley leaders and partners, which comes amid the PLDT Group’s so-called digital pivot.
The meeting late last month coincided with the anniversary of the Philippine launch of Free Basics, formerly Internet.org, through a strategic partnership between Facebook and Smart Communications, the first mobile network operator in Southeast Asia to roll out the groundbreaking service as a means to uplift more Filipino lives via the Internet.
Free Basics, now available in 30 countries, is an initiative by Facebook that intends to make mobile Internet available to two-thirds of the world’s population not yet connected through close collaboration with leading tech firms, mobile networks, and content providers worldwide.
Since it was launched in the Philippines in March last year, over 4.5 million subscribers on the Smart network have already used the app, which offers free access to 27 informative partner-websites.
Through the app, subscribers are able to get in touch with their loved ones, search information, learn from educational sites, seek jobs, check the news and weather, among many others, for free.