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Networking The Internet Wireless Networking

Clear Has Nationwide Outage 89

An anonymous reader writes "Based on reports from Clear's forum, the WiMax provider has been experiencing a loss of service problem all over the country. The troubled WiMax provider (also known as Clearwire) has had many user complaints of throttling, over billing, overloaded towers and system congestion, and of misrepresentation of the service offerings in ads and by resellers, so this is can't be good news for Clear's management. Reports are scattered among multiple forum threads, but at least one Clear rep was reported by a user to have acknowledged it was a nationwide issue."
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Clear Has Nationwide Outage

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  • by I8TheWorm ( 645702 ) * on Thursday January 27, 2011 @02:35PM (#35022368) Journal

    I'm posting this using my Clear dongle... no issues though I did have a really poor connection for a day late last week.

    • Came here to post the same. Except replace "dongle" with "spot". And my home system is still connected.

      OMG, somebody is wrong on the Internet!

      • I can't say I've had any connectivity issues with my Spot. It has some major security issues, though.. I reported several vulnerabilities (notably, my clearspot shipped with a backdoor in the web interface) to Clear a few weeks ago and haven't heard anything from them.
        • Ouch, now I need to check if the dongle has any similar. To be fair, I set up and use spotify from time to time, but always secure it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Stop playing with your dongle and get back to work!

    • $35 a month is a good deal.

      What other alternatives exist for Broadband internet that cost less than that? I'm asking because I have a friend stuck on 50k Dialup with no DSL or cable available.

      • P.S.

        Although the 3G Speed seems rather slow (200 kbit/s). Probably not worth my friend upgrading, and not fast enough to watch Dialup internet with compressed text/images can load faster than that. Looks like crap but it works.

        Which reminds me: I need a Firefox Addon that can download Youtube videos as 3GP files (again: for my friend's dialup). The one he was using stopped working last month.

        • Wow, that's low for 3G. Even Verizon was getting 1mbps in Houston... AT&T typically gets me 7mpbs while Clear gets me closer to 10mbps.

          Where are you?

      • My home and portable Clear adapters get 8-9m down and 0.90-0.095m up very consistently. Latency is a tad high at 60-70ms but it beats the heck out of 3G. Just did a test and it's 68ms, 8.68 down, 0.94 up on my portable adapter.

        If you're really desperate for an alternative and can't get Clear, there's always satellite. I think WildBlue is the current leader in price and data allowance.

        • >>>it beats the heck out of 3G

          That's all my friend has - 3G - according to Clear's coverage map. One of the bad parts of living in a small city instead of a major one.

      • I actually went with Clear for two reasons. The first was as you said (though I pay $40/mo)... it's a better deal than any of the cell services offer. Second, it gave me a bit of redundancy as I use the Tether app on my BB and Android through AT&T. If one goes down I have the other.

        I didn't find any better deals in the Houston area, though I would guess competition will start heating up now that LTE and HPSA+ are rolling out... maybe a year from now you'd see better prices.

    • by Aryden ( 1872756 )
      No problems here in Atlanta for me. 13Mbs down, 4Mbps up, 56ms ping. Been using them since they came here and i've only ever had 1 issue which was solved by a reset.
      • Wow, 13 is nice! I get 7-10 usually (7.02 down atm, 1 up, 68ms... pretty normal).

        Are those pretty standard numbers for you?

        • by Aryden ( 1872756 )
          Yes. There is a rare occasion when I dont get that high, but it's usually when there is something going on near where I live, festivals etc. I assume it's because of the bombardment of radio waves.
  • by karnal ( 22275 ) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @02:35PM (#35022370)

    I had a customer calling complaining that VPN was taking longer than usual. Simple tasks like email (well, Lotus Notes isn't that simple I guess) and browsing intranet pages was sluggish at best. Turns out the customer switched from a cable-based service to Clear. Her husband stated that they were saving $20 a month. I told her she's probably spending more than $20 in frustration trying to get work done.

    Here's hoping she got her cable internet back.

    • >>>I told her she's probably spending more than $20 in frustration

      Should have told her to try Thunderbird instead of Lotus, since it's free, and in addition to going back to the Cable internet.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        If the fact that she was using Lotus Notes wasn't enough evidence that he was dealing with a corporate environment, the word 'Intranet' should have triggered that realization.

        Corporate users rarely get to choose their own email client. Additionally, Lotus Notes - shit as it is - does a heck of a lot more than just email.

    • by PCM2 ( 4486 )

      Yeah, my mom's husband bought a Verizon router for Christmas so they could have Internet wherever they went in their RV. So far so good. But part of his plan was that they wouldn't need their cable Internet at home anymore because they had the Verizon thing. It's very difficult to explain why this is not a great idea when all the carriers are free to advertise how fast and reliable and unlimited their services are.

      • by Thing 1 ( 178996 )

        It's very difficult to explain why this is not a great idea when all the carriers are free to advertise how fast and reliable and unlimited their services are.

        Redundancy, redundancy, redundancy! But I repeat myself, and somehow end up looking like Ballmer.

  • by hackingbear ( 988354 ) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @02:36PM (#35022372)
    Everything's clear now! Move on!
  • Sooo... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Deathnerd ( 1734374 ) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @02:36PM (#35022382)
    One could say that the problem is Clear?

    Thank you! I'll be here all week!
    • So they have a nationwide service outage, and then their site gets linked on the Slashdot front page...I'm thinking this story might not be over yet.
  • by mark72005 ( 1233572 ) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @02:36PM (#35022386)
    They don't have enough money to pay for their bandwidth after they send me a piece of junk mail every single day.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I've had there service for about 3 months now and not a single problem. Sometimes I might get a slight drop in speed due to signal issues.
    Comeing from Cricket's "Broadband" Service thou I expect anything to be better.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    My experience with Clear has been pretty positive overall, mainly because comcast made my experience so negative, anything would be a step in the right direction.
    My only complaint is periodically my connection will drop to .5mbps down, 1mbps up. It is impossible to stream tv shows. There would be times when nothing would connect for a few hours.
    The only reason I went with Clear is because Comcast claimed I live in an "illegal apartment" (their words, not mine) and would not provide me service. I've called d

  • by markass530 ( 870112 ) <> on Thursday January 27, 2011 @02:41PM (#35022454) Homepage
    I Can't ride the 720 rapid in LA across the main sections of LA without getting the 4G interrupted multiple times. Same thing on the 2 on the backside from Hollywood to UCLA/Westwood. That being said, i'm a few GB shy of 1 TB downloaded in 3 months, and no throttling.
    • That's not terribly surprising. When I was out there, data and voice had frequent drops. Mountains, buildings, and network congestion are the normal reasons. The only people I knew who didn't have problems were the same people who would have dropped calls while talking to someone on a land line. They'd always blame the other persons phone.

      There's a nice stretch of road on the 210 between San Fernando and Pasadena, where you were guaranteed not to have phone service. I don'

    • This problem will get solved once they get financing to expand the density of their coverage. However, a big problem they are having is that other carriers and especially Cable monopolies are spreading false rumors about their service to keep them from giving potential customers an alternative to monopoly control that many cable companies have in various regional markets. The last thing that cable companies want is competition that would reduce the high prices they charge for service and thus reduce thei

      • by qcubed ( 655212 )
        False rumors about their service? I could see their tower from my living room window in Chicago. Nothing in the way. They advertised 6Mbps, but I was lucky to get 2. Watching Netflix was a chore, since the quality would be atrocious and would take forever to buffer; YouTube fared little better. I'd call and call, and get the runaround about problems with the tower that would never be fixed, or blamed that I put the modem in the wrong place (except I had 5 bars...). To cap it all off, it'd cut out for about
      • I'm 100% for clearwire becoming a viable alternative to cable. Would be great. However their customer service past is a steaming pile of shit. []
  • This is can't be good news!

  • by Stenchwarrior ( 1335051 ) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @02:48PM (#35022540)
    ...3, 2, 1
    • In 2000?
    • And it's already been plummetting [].
    • They've struggled to get additional financing to continue to build out their system. However, once they do, these guys are poised to give cable operators some competition in otherwise closed markets. No wonder, that the cable companies are spreading as many rumors as possible and pressuring bankers and financiers to keep them from doing so. If they become competitive and Wi-Max takes off, it could drastically reduce the prices for local cable service.

  • They really do suck.
    Drive them into bankruptcy the same way we did to Circuit Shitty.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Another blatantly false headline from /. This is getting old quickly.

    • Yes, I can't actually see anywhere on that page where it claims that it is a nationwide outage. According to the poster, someone at Clear said that the company was "experiencing outages nationwide." It's not clear whether this is an accurate quote or an embellished paraphrase. Several unrelated outages across the United States is not the same as a pervasive, related, unified outage affecting all customers. It appears that several people (15 to be exact) are posting unrelated signal problems in the same thre

      • Several unrelated outages across the United States is not the same as a pervasive, related, unified outage affecting all customers.

        There's also the fact that some areas -- like Baltimore -- had heavy snow last night. I have Sprint's WiMax (which is, from what I can figure out, the same network as Clear), and it was spotty last night, but I'm not sure if that was due to problems in their network, or due to weather-related signal problems. I'm near the edge of the service area -- though I have four or five b

  • What. Ever. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sdb6247 ( 532003 ) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @03:08PM (#35022752)
    This seems like pretty irresponsible reporting, so far as I can tell. What? A forum post on Clear's support forums had a few comments, and BAM! Front page of Slashdot. Pure awesome. Duh, guys.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      You seem to think that the "editors" of Slashdot actually care about accuracy, spelling, grammar, etc. No, it's all about driving ad clicks and page views. These intentionally misleading articles being posted helps drive up the page hits.

  • If you live in an oversold area, it's apparently awful - but I don't. I regularly get 10mbps downstream, 1mbps upstream. I do a ton of bittorrent downloading and also watch a lot of streaming video through Hulu and Netflix, and I've yet to be throttled. It's also working right now, obviously, although earlier today I was having some trouble getting certain web pages to load - not sure if that was due to this, or something else. Clear isn't perfect, but so far it's better than my old Verizon DSL (the cop

    • If rebooting your modem helped, why do you think the problem was the copper?

      • It would mostly happen when it was windy or humid, and I isolated pretty much every other possibility (replaced the modem, bypassed the wiring in my house entirely, filed numerous complaints with Verizon that had them check all the circuits at the CO, etc.). As best as I could tell there must have been something loose or exposed, and a good gust of wind or dampness would cause a fault that killed the connection. The modem wouldn't automatically reconnect though, so I'd have to do it manually. It was exce

        • In all fairness, did you check the power adapter for the DSL modem?

          I had a similarly difficult problem to troubleshoot. The connection would drop at least that many times a day, if not more. Rebooting the modem seemed to fix it, even if temporary.

          The DSL co ran numerous tests on the line, and found nothing wrong. Even hooking it up at the point of entry of the house, before house wiring did not fix the problem. I thought for the longest time, there HAD to be a problem with the line as well.

          It turns ou

          • That's a possibility, but the modems I had were completely different models (although both were made by Westell). Still, if that was the problem Verizon should have been the one to figure it out, not me. They don't pay me to do tech support, I pay them.

    • I have Clearwire, which is different from Clear. Clearwire is a pre-wimax service sometimes referred to as 3.5G, and our choices for speed are 1.5Mbps or 2Mbps if I remember right. Clear is true Wimax (whether or not you want to call it 4G). Sprint bought Clearwire a while back, and it is unclear what the difference between Clear and Clearwire is. To quote Wikipedia,

      Now the company is being marketed under the name CLEAR,[6] except in those markets where the Clearwire name has already been established.[7] (However, it remains uncertain whether this new incarnation of Clearwire, controlled by Sprint, will still continue to offer the contractual conditions which have sparked class action lawsuits in the past.)

      I am technically outside their service area in Nevada, but I have a direct line of sight to the tower and I get 5/5 bars of signal on my mo

  • From their support rep Sheldon: It is recommended that you contact us by phone at 1-888-888-3113 or chat via

    If the customer doesn't have internet access, how the hell do you expect them to chat the internet???

    • Probably because they managed to post their complaint on an Internet message board.

      • Because I always find tech support so pleasant when not sat in front of the problem device. Always useful when the first step, which _cannot_ be skipped is to reboot the device. Or maybe it's just me who only speaks to idiots.

    • This is actually my biggest complaint about Clear: Call them outside working hours, and you get a message telling you to try the online chat.

      Um... guys?? If I'm calling my ISP's tech support line, it's probably *NOT* because my Internet is working!

      That said, I've found it to generally be a good service. Not the best for everybody, but better than most.

  • I use it every day, no different here than usual, a relatively mediocre 5mbps down, 1mbps up.

  • Glad I Left (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Personally I hate Comcast, but they are a ton better than Clear. I left a couple weeks back because after 3 days of reporting 56k speeds, I was finally told that I had been throttled. What is really bad here, is how they explained to me that the system works. In short, there is no specified cap or limit, instead you are judged by how much data you use on a given tower at a given time. For those who use this at your homes, if you use more data than a passerby or friend of a friend using a dongle on your towe

  • by Muggins the Mad ( 27719 ) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @04:29PM (#35023686)

    See, I thought this was relevant until I dug in further and discovered that it's probably a different Clear, in a different country,
    from the one I use.

    You don't own the entire planet yet, you know.

  • ymmv but clear customer experience has been excellent for like 18 months, including a corporate shift from xohm to clear, where my equipment was replaced proactively at no cost to me.

    i'm in baltimore, which is blanketed in wet snow right now, as much of the east coast. despite clear reps claiming service does not degrade, that has not been my experience. snow storms and snow cover often result in an inability to connect to the network and frequently dropped connections.

  • The troubled WiMax provider (also known as Clearwire) has had many user complaints of throttling, over billing, overloaded towers and system congestion, and of misrepresentation of the service offerings in ads and by resellers,

    I was one of them and wrote about the experience here []. The short version: they don't advertise their bandwidth throttling and don't warn when they do throttle your bandwidth. My roommate and I thought they'd be a useful alternative to conventional ISPs, but they turn out not to be.

    • by Aryden ( 1872756 )
      my 100+ gigs of transfer per month due to site hosting, data transfers, downloads, uploads, movie watching, torrenting and a myriad of other uses which was VERY quickly throttled by comcast, has yet not been throttled at all by clear in the 15 or so months that I have been using them. I also host nearly a dozen 24 hour broadcast internet radio stations. Clear hasn't said/mailed or otherwise notified me of any additional charges or throttled my bandwidth... at all. Comcast on the other hand throttled me to 6
  • In what has to be an interesting twist on net neutrality and bandwidth throttling, Netflix has released their numbers for network throughput sorted by ISP. Clearwire comes in dead last out of 16 US ISPs: []

e-credibility: the non-guaranteeable likelihood that the electronic data you're seeing is genuine rather than somebody's made-up crap. - Karl Lehenbauer