Quality of Clear WiMAX Services

I live in downtown Portland Oregon, on the corner of 19th &amp; W Burnside, overlooking the city.<br />


Since moving to The Civic condos in October, I've been working with a clearly-overextended condo management organization; PREM Group. Despite initiating the process just days after moving in, nearly six months have passed, and the installation of a simple DSL connection still has not been processed...this is all despite dozens of phone calls, voicemails, in-person discussions, and at least two dozen emails...to managers, bosses, and the bosses bosses... There have been plenty of promises to act, but...with no delivery of services, by the time December rolled around, I was getting desperate.

As a computer systems administrator, by way of a career spanning well-more than a decade, I need reliable and fast internet services...and when Clear WiMAX hit the Portland market in December of 2008, I was their second "general" customer to receive the WiMAX modem. Since day-one, service has been quite-poor; modem often resets, packet latency averages over 100ms, and the only place I can position this modem, and see four or five bars, is outside on the patio. When inside my condo, even with the modem right-against the window, I'm quite-lucky to see three lit signal-strength indicators; two is the norm.

This type of abysmal service quality makes common tasks, such as YouTube, or streaming music...a....real....patience................tes.t..er. Larger software downloads, such as software updates, or new installations, often need to be attempted/restarted a multitude of times, before completion. Further, because of the poor quality connection, websites which do frequent background tasks (such as Facebook), will often behave in unusual and unwanted ways...simply because it cannot retrieve data reliably.

A few final notes:

  • A coworker also tried Clear WiMAX earlier this year, she gave up after just a few days of abysmal service quality.
  • For reasons that are not totally-clear, "Clear" blocks attempts to traceroute their network; this rubs me the wrong way, as traceroute is an amazing diagnostic tool, so blocking its functions seems quite-silly. Further, the only ISPs I've seen do this, in the past, have been those with very poorly-engineered networks...blocking traceroute enables an ISP to pretend the poor design does not exist.
  • I'm ditching this Clear WiMAX disservice, the moment something better comes along; DSL, Cable, or even WiFi (which I've setup various area businesses with, to much happiness & success).

    When it comes down to it, I'm a SysAdmin, so I'll let my logging/monitoring tools do the talking for me:

    Internal WiMAX modem interface.


    First hop/device past the WiMAX modem.


    Zooming in, to view the past 10 hours of connectivity between the WiMAX modem, and its gateway...pretty poor connection quality...