Gray Flannel Dwarf


Clearwire looks kinda cloudy.

Well, I’d been hearing the ads and even gotten something in the mail for Clearwire, I thought I’d look into them.

Off the bat, I found it odd that, although 1) I got a flyer in the mail and 2) they show my town in the coverage area, entering my ZIP on their site says service isn’t available. Having dealt enough with services not being available in the past, a red flag went up… and I began to investigate some more.

Didn’t take long to find this website and forum which shows a few people aren’t happy. What’s more interesting about that site is not the number of complaints, however… it’s the number of vehement shadow puppets who argue that people get what they deserve for not reading their contracts, etc.

While I don’t deny that people should read their contracts, it seems a lot of the complaints revolve around port filtering, traffic throttling/shaping and general service issues around anything not going through port 80. Interestingly enough, however, there is nothing on the Clearwire website about this, other than a section labeled “Excessive Use of Network Resources”… under which it is Clearwire’s “sole discretion” what such usage is.

I’ve read a lot about them throttling P2P, despite its advantages for, say, downloading linux torrents. Not cool… and it appears that people can’t use their third-party VOIP providers over the service either… and conveniently enough, Clearwire does offer their own VOIP service. A novel entry into the world of “net neutrality”… and certainly, searching their website, you won’t find much which specifically mentions “P2P”, “bit torrent”, etc. Shady.

I noticed they have a Business plan, which is about 15 bucks more a month and appears to offer little more than a static IP and a few email addresses/megs of diskspace (what business uses provider-hosted webspace these days?)… but based on what I’ve read, why do I get the feeling that much of my work — where I use SSH, and generally do plenty of stuff on ports other than 80, would trigger throttling? I have quite a bit of leeway allowing me to work from home, but it sure appears that this would be wholly inadequate for my VPN needs. I’d venture to say it barely qualifies to be considered “broadband”.

I could go on talking about some of the other stuff that looks lame, like the fact they offer a mere seven-day trial. That’s hardly enough to know whether something will work for you, and just long enough for you to find out that it won’t — a few days in. But anyway, I’m smart enough to both read their terms of service, do my own research… and eventually decide on my own that this service looks like a real piece of crap.

Tags: , , , , , — cswiii @ 2:55 pm