Today, Facebook Connectivity and our partners at Bitel, Claro, Entel, and Movistar are launching a trial of Discover — a new product that builds on our Free Basics initiative — in Peru. As we’ve continued our work on Free Basics, we’ve listened to feedback and recommendations from civil society groups and other stakeholders, including organizations like the World Wide Web Foundation. We developed Discover to address and incorporate those recommendations into a new product that supports connectivity.
Discover is a mobile web and Android app that can be used to browse any website using a daily balance of free data from participating mobile operators. In order to offer a sustainable program with our mobile operator partners, Discover supports only low-bandwidth traffic when using free data. Video, audio, and certain other types of data-intensive traffic are not supported when using free data. All websites are treated equally.
Facebook Connectivity continues to work with partners on a wide range of initiatives aimed at addressing key barriers to connectivity. Overcoming these challenges — including affordability, relevance, and lack of infrastructure — requires a multifaceted approach of different business solutions, partnerships, and long-term technology initiatives. Discover is one piece of our much broader connectivity efforts.
With Discover, we’re exploring ways to help people stay on the internet more consistently. Many internet users around the world remain underconnected, regularly dropping off the internet for some period of time when they exhaust their data balance. Discover is designed to help bridge these gaps and keep people connected until they can purchase data again. We’ll also be assessing how Discover can help people extend use of their regular data balance and support internet adoption.
During the coronavirus public health crisis, we believe it is particularly important to explore ways to help people stay connected and to increase access to health information and other resources on the internet. As part of our ongoing work to connect people to accurate health information, coronavirus health resources will be highlighted on the Discover homepage.