Clearwire's Non-WiMax Now Non-Useful: Blocks VoIP, Streaming Media

from the wonderful dept

Craig McCaw's Clearwire wireless outfit has received plenty of attention -- mainly for being run by Craig McCaw. Late last year, Intel had to pay Clearwire to convince them to use WiMax (which, still doesn't actually exist) as the core of their wireless offering, as WiMax was proving to be increasingly less than the hype would have you believe. Earlier this month, Bell Canada made a surprise announcement, saying they would provide VoIP for Clearwire in the US -- giving the Canadian telco a way to enter the US market. Still, it appears the folks at Clearwire haven't been paying attention to the whole "network neutrality" debate or the fact that an ISP has been fined for blocking Vonage. Instead, Clearwire proudly states that they will block any application they don't like -- including non-Bell Canada VoIP and any streaming audio or video offering. In other words, Clearwire's wireless broadband is becoming close to useless, because they want to control what you can and can't do over it. They claim they need to do this "to ensure network performance reliability," but can't explain how it's okay for them to offer VoIP, but Vonage must be blocked. More importantly, if Clearwire is saying they can't have a stable network when people are doing VoIP or streaming media, it certainly raises a lot of questions about the quality of WiMax.

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  1. identicon
    Wai Wong, 29 Nov 2007 @ 12:23pm

    Clearwire: Deceptive Marketing Strategy

    Here is my story:
    I subscribed to Clearwire service couple months back because I was attracted by their advertisement of the broadband speed they claimed that they can achieve and their always on internet service. But since then I have received email letters of service termination from them complaining that I am over using their internet bandwidth. I spoke to their technical support and they finally told me that they do not expect people to download or upload more than a certain limit that they define. Problem is this limit is not at all stated clearly in their advertisement. They pointed me to the Terms and Contract which I signed, but it came with very vague meaning to me as it does not at all quantify the limit expectation that they defined. Anway, after the 3rd letter of service termination I recevied from them, they actually cancelled my service subscription and charge me $200 for the cancellation fee! The only resolution their tech support is willing to offer is to allow them to gain access to the data into my PC. I think this is a totally non-sense solution and I am not sure what kind of help it can offer to the situation. Obviously, their network infrastructure is not able to provide the amount of data and traffic that they claim in their advertisement, and they expect their customers to reduce their internet usage to meet their limit expectation which is not clearly stated in their contract. It just looks like to me this company is undergoing some deceptive marketing strategy and the little consumers are not at all protected in doing business with them. I am wondering if you people know of any class action law suit is going on against thiscompany, which I can participate as well to share my experience as a victim of them?

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