A dozen years ago I tried out (and blogged about) the newest wireless internet access system called “Clear” using “Wi-Max” that eliminated cable/ISDN/satellite connections and promised unlimited download limits along with decent, if not terribly impressive speeds, and an added plus was that it was cheaper than my current provider. Using an external modem, I simply put it near a window and it would tie into my router via ethernet. But, the biggest thumbs-up was that I could cut the cord with the hated Comcast system. Sadly, it was a total disaster …

Fast forward to 2022, and the wireless companies are constantly screaming the 5G!!! network is the answer to internet access for the home, and T-Mobile’s offering of what “Clear” failed at. On paper it seemed too good to be true … by late Dad always said “there’s no Santa Claus” … what a prescient phase that turned out to be. T-Mobile’s 5G half-priced offering compared to Xfinity was steeped in problems from the moment I opened the box. I found they had either glued in the SIM card or it was soldered in.  Regardless, the new wireless 5G modem was DOA without a removable SIM card to access their network as the modem couldn’t access it without having the SIM card moved/replaced/rebooted. I had a hunch that this wasn’t going to be the last time I’d be talking to their tech folks who clearly knew less, (much, much less) than I did about their own product. Solution? Send a new one … that only took ten days and more phone calls. The new unit worked, sort of … compared to my Note 20 Ultra as a hotspot, it was barely passable as broadband. Then the fun began when I tunneled into it to shut off ports and such. T-Mobile didn’t want you access that feature on their modem, so simply make it accessible in the firmware. That forced you to use their system basically unprotected at the modem level. That’s simply unacceptable as I’ve seen as many as 10,000 probing attacks against my IP from fun places like Russia and China … in ONE day. The T-Mobile tech read from a script while I described the issue … they literally had no clue about what I was talking about. Their resolution? Five+ days later their solution showed up and still didn’t work … more calls and I decided I didn’t need any additional grey hair. So as per my conversation with their “tech”, I returned it to the closest T-Mobile store only to be told they could only allow a single item return at their stores, and I’d have to find a box, pack it and drive to a UPS store … my experiment with T-Mobile allowed me to hear my Dad’s voice as clearly as he was standing in front of me … after an hour of waiting for help in the store, I wanted to say “do I look like I work for UPS?”  My sarcasm obviously wouldn’t be productive, so the “Great Box Search” began. There’s no happy ending here as the concept of viable wireless internet access is still as fruitless as it was in 2010. No wonder they say Musk is a genius, because other than politicians, no one gets hated upon deservedly as much as TV and internet providers … he’s trying to fill that void with Starlink … sigh … if only it was available in my area. I’ve a feeling we’ll see footprints on Mars before this is solved …

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