MIDDLETOWN – In response to Typhoon Haiyan’s devastating landfall in the Philippines, KVH Industries Inc. announced last week that all phone calls to the Philippines from boats using a KVH TracPhone system enabled with the company’s mini-VSAT Broadband service will be free of charge for the duration of the crisis.
The free VoIP calls apply both to vessels’ operations or company phones and to crew calling phones. In cases where crewmembers currently use a prepaid KVH calling card, the toll rate for calls to the Philippines will be zero, KVH said.
“Filipino seafarers represent more than 20 percent of the world’s mariners,” said Martin Kits van Keyningen, CEO of KVH Industries, in a release. “Not knowing if loved ones are safe is extremely difficult in any emergency situation, and it is particularly wrenching for a seafarer who may be halfway around the world from home.”
KVH is also offering free digital daily Filipino newspapers from its NewsLink digital media group to keep seafarers abreast of the situation on the ground in the Philippines. The complimentary newspapers will be provided to any vessels that request them, whether the vessels are KVH customers or not, the company said.
KVH’s Crewtoo social media network for mariners is also providing up-to-the-minute information regarding local relief efforts in the Philippines.
Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms ever to hit land, struck the central regions of the Philippines on Friday, Nov. 8.
To receive NewsLink’s Tagalog-language digital daily newspaper free of charge, Filipino mariners are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org.