by Mike Masnick
Tue, May 20th 2008 6:53pm
Well, this is unfortunate. Every time people want to pretend that there's "real" competition in the broadband market beyond DSL and cable, you hear them talk about 3G wireless services like Sprint and Verizon Wireless' EVDO. Of course, Verizon Wireless caps its EVDO service at 5GB/month -- go over that and it will cut you off. Sprint, however, remained customer friendly and having sold people "unlimited" plans, stuck to that plan and let folks use EVDO as much as they wanted to. I'm one of those customers, and have been a big fan of the service. When I travel, I use it constantly. It's convenient, reliable and more secure than WiFi. While it's not often, on heavy travel months, I almost certainly pass that 5GB barrier. Yet, now, according to Gizmodo and Phonescoop, Sprint is implementing its own 5GB cap. You can make all sorts of arguments about why it needs to do this -- or point to the fact that (eventually) it will have a WiMax network available (though, not for a while). But, in the meantime, a bunch of us were told that we were buying "unlimited" service. 5GB is hardly unlimited, and it's rather ridiculous to go back and change the deal after the company had already sold it to us. Either way, any time someone suggests that EVDO is a "third pipe" competitor to DSL or cable, remind them that it's an extremely limited third pipe with rules that change with almost no notice.
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