Clearwire To VoIP Providers: Get Certified Or, Oops, You Might Get Blocked
from the our-network,-our-rules dept
Clearwire execs adamantly deny the wireless ISP has purposely blocked any outside VoIP services, though some stories make that claim look dubious. The company pleads ignorance, literally -- saying it has a hard time telling the difference between VoIP traffic and a port scanner. So now it says that unless third-party VoIP providers get "certified" by the company, their service might get "inadvertently" cut off on Clearwire's network. The WISP says that it wants to better learn what VoIP services might look like on its network and be better prepared to deal with customer problems. But as it did when Vonage said it was being blocked, something smells fishy. First, Clearwire says it has to restrict VoIP, media streaming and other bandwidth-intensive applications to ensure performance on its network, then it says it can't tell what VoIP looks like on its network, so services might accidentally get blocked -- while it's already signed a deal with Bell Canada to sell VoIP to its customers. It's unclear exactly what is going on here, although two possibilities seem to stand out: maybe Clearwire's network isn't as robust as it would like people to think, or perhaps it's trying to hamper competing VoIP providers. It's a confused take on network neutrality, essentially saying that any service is okay, as long as it's one we've certified.