Strict home quarantine measures and community-wide lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic brought everyone online… or did it really?

In a 2016 report, Internet Live Stats shows that internet access is not as widespread as we think it is. In the US, for example, only 88.5% of the population has access to the internet while in developing countries like the Philippines, only half of the population (43.5%) has access. Coverage is even lower for countries such as India (34.8%), Bangladesh (13.2%), and Papua New Guinea (11.7%).

What does this disparity in internet access mean for everyone, especially during a time when people are forced to stay home? People who have access to the internet can easily adhere to “work-from-home” policies and keep their jobs. Families that have broadband at home can still access educational resources for children. Citizens who have mobile data can continue to follow the news and stay informed.

On the other hand, people who do not have access to the internet do not enjoy the same cushion. Once people are locked into their homes, their children cannot continue with their education, they no longer have access to essential information that can save lives, and they can only hope that they’ll still have a job when the crisis is over.

Now, more than ever, having access to the internet may just help billions of people in tiding over a global health crisis that is currently affecting the world economy, family lives, and individuals.

engageSPARK allows companies and organizations to send prepaid airtime (mobile phone credit/mobile load) to employees, beneficiaries, and stakeholders so they can have mobile data. engageSPARK makes it simple to send prepaid airtime and data top-ups to large groups. Airtime top-ups are particularly useful for:

  • Companies that have imposed work-from-home policies – Employers can send load to their team members so they can keep working at home by using their phones as a mobile hotspot.
  • Services that depend on mobile data – These include delivery services, logistics, and healthcare services. Companies and organizations can send data top-ups to their delivery fleets, field officers, and frontliners.
  • Schools that have shifted to online learning – School administrators can allot some budget to send data top-ups to parents so they can use their phones to enable continuous learning for their kids, even at home.

Have other ideas on how airtime top-ups can benefit you?