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Anybody Actually Using Clearwire?

I got a fancy marketing piece in the mail yesterday for Clearwire, who is now offering Wireless internet access in Central Oregon. Their coverage of the area isn't too bad, and better than BendBroadband's. Clearwire, according to my sources, has a big ol' antenna on top of Awbrey Butte so, in theory, anybody with line-of-sight on Awbrey Butte's towers should be able to get internet access (that being said, their system thinks my house is out of their coverage area, despite the fact that I can see Awbrey Butte, but I am awfully close to Pilot Butte). From the bit of research I've done, it looks like there are some issues with the service:

  1. It's not nearly as mobile as they'd like you to believe. The directional wireless modem they require you to use is pretty decent size so while it's technically movable, it's something you need a power outlet to actually be able to use. One nice thing about BendBroadband's coverage is that they do allow you to use your own wireless equipment in your laptop so you can actually truly be mobile.
  2. They've been known to block VoIP services, and they can get away with it thanks to a very broad TOS Agreement. There have also been reports of TCP/IP ports used by BitTorrent and other file sharing applications and Web and FTP server getting blocked (BendBroadband, last I checked, also blocks Web/FTP servers on their home accounts -- at least they used to).
  3. The prices aren't clear on their Web site, so I have no idea how much it actually costs, though many reviews' prices seem a bit expensive.
Sadly, for those folks who can't get DSL or Cable, this might be an option for them (like my boss, who can only get DirecWay where they live. With a strong enough antenna they could probably get a signal, though I have no idea if it would work with Clearwire or not.

So has anybody actually used their service?

Posted by Jake on 12/14/05 @ 09:40 PM
Posted in Geekdom, Local | Permalink

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