In the wake of the terror attacks in Brussels, tech giants are offering free services to those wanting to reach their loved ones stranded in the Belgian capital. The services are also available for Turkey, which too was affected by terror attacks recently. Key telecom providers in Belgium like Telenet, Lycamobile and Mobistar are offering free calls. Landline calls within both Belgium and Turkey are now free.
Google is offering free calls via Hangouts, Hangouts Dialer or Google Voice to Belgium and Turkey. The tech giant will collaborate with Belgium's Government Crisis Centre to update its Google Now cards, which will offer those stranded in Brussels with available transport options.
US telecom giants like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile are offering customers free calls and waiving roaming and text charges for customers trying to reach to and from Brussels. AT&T has specified that it will credit all calls and texts made to Belgium till 28 March, while Sprint Boost and Virgin are waiving roaming charges within Belgium.
Australia's Optus and Telstra are offering free calls and texts to Belgium till 31 March and 29 March respectively, while Canadian telecom giant Telus is waiving all call and text charges till 5 April.
Uber and Airbnb have also offered support. Airbnb activated its "disaster response tool", offering stranded travellers in Belgium a safe sanctuary, till 25 March. Uber, in a characteristic move, has offered to waive its surge pricing to those in and around Brussels.
Social media response to the terror attacks has been overwhelming, with Twitter users offering help by using the hashtag #openhouse and #ikwilhelpen, which translated means "I want to help". Facebook activated its Safety Check feature, although the tech giant has faced some flak for delaying the activation by around three hours after Brussels was hit by suicide bomb attacks.