Telstra Deal Gives Free Access to Ask Izzy
22 November 2016 at 11:50 am
A deal with telco giant Telstra and Infoxchange will see free access to Ask Izzy – the mobile website that connects people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to thousands of services nation-wide.
Infoxchange CEO, David Spriggs, said the contribution of Telstra in the fight to end homelessness via Ask Izzy was significant.
“Mobile phone credit is no longer standing in the way of people who are homeless, with a Telstra phone trying to find help,” Spriggs said.
“Over 80 per cent of people who are homeless own a smartphone. They are often on prepaid plans, but without credit to search for services they need.
“Before [the] announcement, they had to find free wifi to access Ask Izzy.
“Telstra has removed a significant barrier for the one in 200 people who are homeless each night to access help, the importance of which cannot be understated.”
Ask Izzy was launched in January by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and founding partners Infoxchange, Google, realestate.com.au and News Corp Australia. Over 250,000 searches for services have been made on the site so far.
The Telstra development comes just weeks after an additional $500,000 was announced by Google to fund the Ask Izzy open data platform, which will map service demand.
“The top three searches on Ask Izzy are accommodation, food and everyday things like blankets and showers,” Spriggs said.
“We hope free access to Ask Izzy on Telstra’s extensive regional and metropolitan network will encourage more people to seek help.
“This will provide important data that can help us improve the delivery of services for people who are homeless or at risk into the future.”
Ask Izzy was developed by Infoxchange in partnership with Google, realestate.com.au and News Corp Australia. It was co-designed with people with lived experience of homelessness, and the frontline workers who support them.
“Ask Izzy provides a vital solution for the many Australians who find themselves homeless each night, connecting them with the essential services they need, from shelter to healthcare,” Telstra CEO Andrew Penn said.
“We want to ensure that Australians can access this support at their time of need which is why we’re pleased to announce free, unmetered access to Ask Izzy on the Telstra network.”