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
    Bill, 7 Nov 2006 @ 7:57am

    I agree entirely with Brian's comments on this thread.

    With regard to streaming media, Clearwire regulates usage based on the number of users on a sector and their data throughput. Under ideal conditions (ie: you aren't running LimeWire on your computer and you are free of spyware), it is highly unlikely that you should ever see a slowdown. If you notice any significant slowdown below a peak speed of 1.5meg or 768k (depending on your package), you need to contact your local office RIGHT THEN and inform them of the problem immediately. They depend on those complaints from you to justify the expense of turning up a sector. Before you call them, verify that you are getting a strong signal (3 bars or more on the wireless modem.) If you are getting fewer than 3 bars on your modem at any time, your signal strength is less than adequate and you can remedy this by moving the equipment.

    With all this hype regarding VOiP, there are 2 things you can do so it works.

    1) Call clearwire and inform them you need your ports open for 3rd party VOiP.

    2) If you have Vonage, call them & tell them your ISP is Clearwire and they can make adjustments to improve compatibility.

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