Twitter and Wikipedia that were free to access from Ncell network will no longer be free starting March 25, 2017. Users will now be charged regular price for browsing the websites over their cellular data.
Ncell had introduced the free service about 2 years and 8 months back. The sudden discontinuation surely raises some questions about whether it was in part due to the recent rising concerns over net neutrality.
Ncell answered to some curious users that the end of partnership between the parties is the reason behind the discontinuation.
The free Facebook service however continues to exist, and according to Ncell, will last till May 15, 2017. The free Facebook service allows users to go through the news feed and perform some basic tasks free, whereas other operations such as opening photos incur extra charges.
I am sure people will sorely miss using Twitter and Wikipedia for free. It doesn’t seem to be a win for Net neutrality proponents either because had it been closed due to Net Neutrality reasons, free Facebook would have ceased to exist as well. By the way, for those of you who have no idea of Net neutrality, it just refers to the principle that Internet Service Providers (ISP) serving end users should treat all communications that travel over their networks the same way. So, letting Twitter, Wikipedia and Facebook to be free means the ISP, in this case, Ncell, is treating them in a different manner than it treats other services.
Along the same lines, Nepal Telecom also hosts a cache server for YouTube, a local repository for Linux, and recently, a cache server for Facebook has also been setup. Should these be considered to be against net neutrality as well? There’s a debate.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.