Friday, September 08, 2006

Broadband the American way....

Clearwire's recent advertising campaign really gets up my nose.
For anyone who has not been exposed to it let me summarize it;
It features this bloke with a feckin' irritatingly smarmy American accent ranting on about how great Clearwire is and that they can supply you with broadband without wires, cables, dishes, software etc..
Basically without anything.
I expect that if you sign up a broadband fairy will magically appear in your home and will "leave" your home broadband enabled.
This is complete nonsense.
Let me give you some facts:

  • Clearwire only provides a service in parts of the following areas: Dublin, Kildare (Maynooth, Naas & Newbridge), Galway (city), Louth, Waterford (city), Bray and Carlow town. So basically they cannot provide me with broadband within 48 hours. The fact that DSL is already available in (most of) those areas makes their claim even less spectecular.
  • On their website they offer Clearplugs. These devices are simple powerline/ethernet adapters that will route your date traffic via your electrical wiring to any location in your building that does not receive Clearwire's signal. What the hell happened to no wires etc? Also these type of devices are notoriously un-reliable and combined with the quality of the wiring in the average Irish home are a recipy for disaster.
  • Clearwire also applies (but does not advertise this); port blocking & speed throttling thereby making it impossible to use a whole range of services and applications. See here for more info...
  • And what's this about "broadband the American way"?! Does this mean that if you do not sign up that a CIA hitsquad will kidnap you in the middle of the street, whisk you of to a prison in the Ukraine and tickle your footsoles with chickenfeathers untill you sign up?
  • Apparently their tech & customer support stinks.
Really guys it's not that hard. Here's a few pointers;

  • Do NOT advertise a service that you cannot provide. This pisses people off and news spreads fast.
  • Customer service is just that: service for your customer. If a customer calls provide a service. Fobbing people of, lying, not following up on appointments etc. does not do you any favours.
  • Do understand the technology that you are using. A network based on radiowaves is to a large extend un-reliable. You cannot sell a service up to the maximum range of your "radio-towers". This range fluctuates creating downtime for clients at the edge of your network. Micro-cells are the way to go.
This proves again that receiving $900 million in funding does not guarantee that you will gt it right. ...
Correction: make that $1.1 billion...
E.

1 comment:

Ciaran said...

Do NOT advertise a service that you cannot provide. This pisses people off and news spreads fast.

Yep, that's exactly what Smart Telecom got so wrong... now look where they are, no cash, no CEO, €3m a month burn rate and nearly no customers - just 16,000 after millions on TV ad's, flyers and print ad's... yet Digiwebs got 18,000 with next to no marketing spend.