Blog Post

ClearWire in HotWater?

There is a lot of people who take less than 30 seconds to beat up on incumbents and their business practices. VoIP blockage, oh it must be SBC or Comcast. Never mind that these companies are under such heavy scrutiny from federal regulators and consumer watchdogs. The sweet irony is that everytime someone has blocked VoIP calls, well it has been some sort of an independent or a start-up. One Vonage customer has claimed that his calls have been blocked by Clear Wire, Craig McCaw’s fixed wireless start-up. Gerry Salemme, an executive vice president at the Kirkland, Wash.-based Clearwire, told Advanced Pipeline that “some technologies used by Vonage and other VoIP providers are problematic for wireless networks, versus a wired network.”. Salemme also confessed that he had not read his company’s terms of service. So one cannot take him too seriously. Vonage officials are clearly unhappy. However Clear Wire is not a phone company or a cable operator, so going to FCC isn’t going to help much. As a word of caution, since this is an isolated case, its time to take a little pause … after all one swallow doesn’t make a summer.

6 Responses to “ClearWire in HotWater?”

  1. Irwin you are right about this. i think this is a case where an ISP has to decide how it wants to do business in the future. clearly the upload speeds of clear wire network are in the 128 kbps region and not good for voip per say since a chunk of the upstream bandwidth is being used for other purposes. they clearly have a reason to be worried for now. and then there is their whole partnership with bell canada and selling its voip service.

  2. Maybe I’m missing something here, but as long as ClearWire informs its customers of what it is blocking, why should it NOT be allowed to block whatever it wants?

    The market will decide if customers will accept their service.

  3. We know Madison River was a hapless swallow and it is clear that FCC can not blow cold wind onto ClearWire. But what about that cable company in the midwest? Since FCC had earlier claimed (the Supreme court will decide soon whether it erred) that cable modem is an information service, the unnamed cable company may have all the insulation that it needs.