Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Clearwire is missing market opportunity to fill in broadband black holes

A couple of weeks back, I blogged that the big WiMAX players like Clearwire aren't likely to fill in America's many broadband black holes where neither cable nor telco broadband is available.

Here's more evidence: The Tennessean.com reports today Clearwire is sticking to more populated areas of Nashville. There are more customers to be had there of course but there's also lots of broadband competition from the wireline telco and cable broadband providers. While there are fewer prospective subscribers outside the city limits, Clearwire shouldn't neglect these areas since they face little competition other than satellite Internet, which it can easily outperform from a price/performance standpoint.

Read this lamentation from one prospective Clearwire subscriber who like your blogger is situated on the dark side of the digital divide by only about a mile:

One group of people who may be disappointed with Clearwire is rural residents who don't have access to broadband through AT&T or Comcast. Clearwire is sticking mostly to major population centers in the Nashville area with its service.

George Reynolds hopes Clearwire gets to his house in west Nashville on the Cumberland River.

"Broadband is available on Charlotte (Avenue) and that's one mile from my house,'' he said, adding that he has been trying to get AT&T to give him broadband service for about three years.

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