Yes, it’s been 19 weeks since Econet treated us to a surprise that promised to change the way we go online. We took the chance to take a step back, think this through and get a better sense of what this means now that we’re 19 weeks into it.
If anything, EconetZero has had some positive feedback because…well, it’s free. Upon announcement, Econet touted the initiative to be the first ever of this scale. This was inarguably true. With north of 50 academic websites to browse through for free, what more could you ask for? At about the same time, Econet also unveiled EcoSchool an initiative aimed to better our education in ways we never could before. EcoSchool still remains in beta.
From my personal experience, EconetZero always lurked in the background. Showing up only when I ran up my internet bundle. That’s when Wikipedia kicked in. Usually it was to reach on a subject I threw in a box and kicked to a corner for later reference. Sometimes I could use Wikihow to learn how to fold a paper and sometimes I also fancied visiting Wonderhowto to learn how to effectively use Tor.
If I ever needed to dust up my near rusty memory on RAM and the ilk Howstuffworks stepped up to the challenge. I found myself consuming more knowledge while waiting on recharging my balance. Which brings us to one of my main gripes. Reliance.
“Should have done things differently”
My first two weeks with EconetZero were all about getting up to speed. Learning all the quirks, all the plus sides and just trying to know how I could better use EconetZero to my advantage. It turned out to be an unreliable experience.
Like this one time when I was doing a little research on an audiobook, World War Z by Max Brooks. Since I was using Wikipedia I thought to myself, it should be free, right? I was dead wrong. With the images turned on my balance had to show for it.
I stared at my then severed balance wishing I had known better. At that point it instantly killed my interest. I settled for using EconetZero only when I had close to nothing in my account, and as a result I started using it less frequently.
That said, other people have had different experiences. Some university students for example say they use it when they are home because at school they have a WiFi connection. EconetZero still stands as the best educational service brought about by Zimbabwe’s leading carrier. It’s just like one of those cases when you never know what you have until it’s gone.