Cyberya: Another Name For ‘Pisonet’
According to PLDT website, “Cyberya” is KaAsenso’s offering for entrepreneurial Pinoys looking to start their own minigosyo or earn more by providing an internet-rental service, which will allow their customers to surf the internet for as low as one (₱1.00) peso. Worded another way, Cyberya is the same as the ‘Pisonet’ computer rental business model providing Internet access for as low as ₱1.00 per 4-minute use or ₱15.00/hour average. At this rate and as offered by PLDT, it can be easily concluded that the Cyberya is aimed to cater to customers in low-income communities where home computers and internet access are not yet affordable.
In this post, I do not intend to discuss in details the pros and cons of the Cyberya mininegosyo as offered by the telecommunications giant. Neither do I wish to recommend nor thumbs down the business model. I just have to mention my opinion as a former i-café owner on some matters mentioned in the offer. First is on the highly improbable ₱7,200 monthly sales figure which was obtained on the assumed rate of ₱15.00/hour and 16 hours/day occupancy of the unit. I seriously doubt if there will be customers renting the unit for 16 hours in a day even if the owner will have it available for 24 hours.
My second reservation is about asking only for a Barangay Clearance as one of the requirements for PLDT to give Cyberia unit on installment basis to a prospective client. At best, a would-be computer rental business operator should be asked to submit a business permit from the LGU where the unit will be located. I understand that it is not PLDT’s responsibility to ensure proper business licensing by its clients but at the very least, the company should help in the implementation of rules and regulations that concerns operating business legally.
My last concern is about having anti-pornography software installed in the units that PLDT will supply to their clients. Will the company install them or they will leave the responsibility to the owner of the business? It must be noted that many LGUs have ordinances requiring computers for rent to have software that will prohibit browsing of pornographic sites. Let me also add the possible violations of the Anti-Cybercrime Law by the users of the Cyberya units.
Early in this decade, ‘Pisonet’ was a dreaded business model among legit i-café owners because the unit’s portability and ease of installation was sure to cut into their markets. However, after knowing its advantages, many of them have adopted the business model that can be operated without having to hire attendants to man their shops. For this reason and in order to ensure compliance to regulations I mentioned above, I would rather like to see PLDT offering the Cyberya business opportunity to legit i-cafe owners who need to refleet or expand their computer rental shops.