Clearwire May Block VoIP Competitors

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Clearwire May Block VoIP Competitors

Vonage says it's been blocked; Company's terms of service "prohibits" use of certain high-bandwidth applications.

By Paul Kapustka, Advanced IP Pipeline 2:32 AM EST Fri. Mar. 25, 2005

Someday, customers of wireless broadband provider Clearwire Corp. may be able to use Voice over IP services. But right now, Craig McCaw's newest company is giving its customers the silent treatment by apparently blocking outside VoIP providers from its network.

In what the company claims is an effort to preserve the performance of its pre-standard WiMAX network, Clearwire says it reserves the right to prohibit the use of a wide range of bandwidth-hungry applications, a list that apparently includes VoIP as well as the uploading or downloading of streaming video or audio, and high-traffic Web site hosting. According to the company's terms of service, Clearwire reserves the right to restrict access or terminate service to customers who don't comply with its rules.

While a company executive claimed the restrictions were necessary to ensure network performance reliability, Clearwire could not explain how that issue would be resolved when it offers its own VoIP services in the near future. Earlier this month, Clearwire signed an agreement with Bell Canada under which Bell Canada will provide VoIP systems and services for Clearwire, at a date and price yet to be announced.

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[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Aren't there, in most communities a choice of other highspeed data services, such as AOL? PAT]
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