On November 6th, Sprint will shut down their 4G WiMax network, ending service to not just people who’d brought it under that name, but anyone using a Clear device. Not only that, they’re offering nothing to Clear customers who are now stuck out in the cold. the only option left to customers whose lifeline to the internet has suddenly been cut off is to buy Sprint’s more-expensive LTE service at full-price, also having to splash out for new equipment.
The writing’s been on the wall for a long time: In 2010, Clearwire Corporation, then an independent telecom, started choking off their data service at peak times, making, in the words of Stop the Cap, “high-bandwidth applications painful or impossible to use.” In the meantime, retroactively changing customers’ terms of service to let them get away with it, while continuing to run ads saying…
Image also from Stop the Cap
This netted them a class-action lawsuit. Sprint brought them in 2012 and renamed them “Clear,” but things only continued to go downhill. The following year, they hiked prices up for their customers while continuing to choke speeds. In 2014, they announced that they would be scaling back their old 4G network, the one Clear customers ran on, to expand their new LTE one. And this spring, they finally gave customers the date it would end.
Why did Clear survive that long in the first place, though? They had one massive selling-point: It was easy to install and, since it ran via satellite, available almost anywhere. In many parts of the country, Clear was the only alternative to the local monopoly, the only solution that didn’t require a massive internal wiring install, or in some rural and remote areas, the only service available. It certainly wasn’t going to offer life-changing quality, but a person who only needed about half a megabit of data down could at least check Facebook and download a few pictures. Unfortunately, that ubiquity also meant some businesses were forced to run with them. The same businesses that will now be having their services abruptly cut.
But when one door closes, another opens. If you have a business that needs a Clear alternative, what better time than now to upgrade to a real service: one that will never throttle your speeds or offer you a deceitful contract. And if you fall outside our service area, we can work with a local telco to get you wired up anyway, at which point our revolutionary custom bonding device can get turn your circuits into a fat pipe of fast, super-reliable, and super-secure internet that your business (high-bandwidth applications and all) can run on without a worry. Check and see if you’re in our service area today. And if you’re not, message or call us anyway, and we’ll see what we can do.