Free internet access to selected websites will be introduced in Bangladesh today by Internet.org, a non-profit group that allows free online browsing through mobile gadgets.
Subscribers of mobile phone operator Robi will enjoy the service through Internet.org app, an invention of the social media platform Facebook.
Through this service, any Robi user can easily access Facebook but they cannot upload any image or video, Robi informed.
The service will be inaugurated today by State Minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak. Markku Makelainen, director of global operator partnerships of Internet.org, will be present.
“This will augment the government's pursuit of digitalising our society. The ICT ministry, Facebook and Robi have come together for this great cause,” said Mahtab Uddin Ahmed, chief operating officer of Robi.
The third largest mobile phone operator in the country already found 29 partners in the public and private sectors.
He said Internet.org would let users view websites for education materials and information on government, health, job, weather, sports, finance and more.
“Internet.org gives the users a greater access to relevant local and international content,” Mahtab added.
Minister Palak said the government plans to achieve 100 percent internet penetration by 2021 and services like this will increase the number of internet users.
Market sources said the ICT Division is launching the service through a mobile phone operator to that end.
The ICT Division also offered another mobile service operator to launch the service but it could not avail the service due to regulatory issues, sources in the ICT division said.
Robi hopes that the number of internet users will increase by around 15 percent through this service.
As of March, Robi had around one crore internet users out of 4.43 crore in Bangladesh, according to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC).
Internet.org was founded on August 21, 2013, to ensure easy access to internet globally. Their slogan is “Everyone of us, everywhere, connected.”