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
    Joe, 13 Jan 2008 @ 9:08am

    Clearwire for over 2 years now

    I've had clearwire and am pretty satisfied. I have the black window box. You have to find the best place in the house(s). At one location it works best in the middle of the room (3 lights on top).
    Customer service is clueless but they try to help unless you want to cancel etc...then its a long 10 min hold. Must work cause I am still a customer.
    Blocking port 80 is a no-brainer as per the contract. To get around other port throttling you have to encrypt the data.
    Nice service for the price and mobility. You won't have any killer downstream and the upstream is noticebly slow. You can still watch a Netflix movie online bit youtube etc seem throttled or the servers are slow themselves.
    It has been very reliable.

    However consistent connection is not as good as dialup. With dialup and broadband/narrowband you are more firmly connected at the transport level and is noticeable.

    Speed is better than dialup generally but can't compare to a cable/DSL/T1. I would take it anyday over a 256K ISDN line although the upspeed is unpredictable.

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