Internet as a Public Service
Provide your subscribers with free access to educational websites and other resources
Whether through a program like Free Basics by Facebook, or with their own initiatives—like Econet Zimbabwe’s Econet Zero—many communications service providers (CSPs) are providing some form of Internet access as a public service to their subscribers.
These services typically provide subscribers with access to communications (e.g., social networking and instant messaging), education (e.g., universities and online courses), and information services (e.g., Wikipedia and other encyclopaedia sites), although in some cases they go much farther.
For subscribers who otherwise lack access to the Internet, these resources can be life-changing; for CSPs, the costs to deliver these services are negligible, and the CSP often gains market differentiation and positive brand recognition.
Beyond the altruistic or branding motives, CSPs who offer Internet as a public service frequently enjoy revenue benefits: people who use these services tend to grow into paying data subscribers as they become comfortable using the Internet as part of daily life.
Success Story: Digicel Wireless Delivers Free Basics by Facebook
Free Basics by Facebook provides subscribers with free access to basic Internet services—connecting people who are otherwise unconnected.
Digicel has embraced this initiative, and is introducing Free Basics at multiple properties throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. To expedite service launches and ensure they work correctly, Digicel’s Free Basics deployments use a standardized API within Sandvine’s network policy control platform to connect directly to Facebook for service updates.
Success Story: Econet Eradicates Barriers to Digital Education
As part of EcoSchool—a digital education platform—Econet Wireless Zimbabwe offers free Internet access to worldclass education content for all Econet broadband users in Zimbabwe. Econet Zero is yet another service that helps Econet stand out from the competition.
Success Story: GTT Invites Everybody to Connect
As part of GTT’s Free Basic 4G Services, GTT offers free 4G Internet access to more than 20 local and international educational sites. This service enables Guyanese citizens to expand their access to knowledge and to discover the power of Internet connectivity.