Welcome to Piso Net, a new addition to Internet shops proliferating in Metro Manila, but with a twist.
A Piso Net terminal has everything you would expect of an Internet shop—a PC, Internet connection and tons of kids playing online games. But instead of patrons paying P20 per hour of Internet, which is the usual running rate for Internet shops, they pay P1 per four minutes of Internet.
All they have to do is put the peso coin on a slot-box located below the monitor and that starts the counter/timer for the Internet—the screen opens up and you’re ready to surf. Before the four minutes is up, you’d hear a warning buzzer, an indication that you need to put another peso to extend Internet enjoyment.
But what can a peso or four minutes of Internet provide you? Marty, the Piso Net operator said patrons can already check their Facebook, send an email, and browse a favorite site. But if you’re in a middle of an online game, you need to put more peso coins.
A Piso Net is a simple setup. The padlocked box below also contains the CPU unit, while the PC display is protected by a clear plastic to prevent patrons from getting the monitor as each terminal is mounted and doesn’t require supervision.
At the end of the day, Marty gets the boxes underneath the PC display monitor, with each box containing about a thousand pesos.
A Piso Net is a Filipino ingenuity—combining the PC and Internet with a slot-machine thus bringing down the Internet rate down to a peso. The so-called digital divide or poor people not accessing Internet technology because they can’t afford a PC and Internet at home somehow remedied with a Piso Net.