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
    Lee Dilley, 2 Jan 2008 @ 2:27pm

    Clearwire Legal Action

    I will not recommend ClearWire and I am seeking legal advice concerning a possible legal action against ClearWire.

    We have a small business and a business account for our website on RR, which has great speed and service but costs $300.00/month. ClearWire, at $49.00/Month seemed a cheaper option. After the salesperson stated clearly that my website could be moved from a cable account to ClearWire, we signed up. The modem arrived quickly and I attached my laptop to it for a week to verify connection, reliability and speed. Not great, but OK.

    I then scheduled IT to switch our website to clearwire. After several attempts over three months, no luck. It seems that ClearWire does not support websites, despite continuing sales claims that they do.

    I then had an interesting encounter with ClearWire when I requested a refund. I called ClearWire requesting a refund and was told that websites were not supported and we should not have expected them to be. I tend to record telephone transactions, so I mentioned that I have a recording from their sales person that clearly stated that websites were supported. Further, I had explained in detail my current setup with RR and what I wanted to switch it unchanged to ClearWire. I had been assured that there were no technical limitations and that my specific needs were no problem.

    Upon hearing that I had a recording, I was asked if the current conversation was being recorded. I said it was, She replied she could not continue if the conversation was being recorded. I reminded her that ClearWire’s announcement stated that the conversation was being recorded. To paraphrase, she said that ClearWire’s recording was OK, but she could not continue if the customer was recording. I did shut off the recording as per her request. However, she just repeated her offer of a $180.00 fee to discontinue service.

    We are considering legal action against ClearWire to recoup fees, IT expenses and other costs. We are soliciting input from anyone interested in joining a legal action against ClearWire email: “”.

    Lee Dilley

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