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Sprint Ordered to Maintain WiMAX Network

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USA based Sprint has been blocked from shutting down a portion of its WiMAX network.

A Massachusetts state court granted a preliminary injunction and stopped Sprint from its plan to shut off broadband access to more than 300,000 mostly low-income Americans.

The emergency relief orders Sprint to maintain the WiMAX network in certain areas for 90 days to allow Mobile Beacon and Mobile Citizen time to migrate their users to Sprint's LTE network.

"Today, the courts preserved a lifeline for the communities and families we serve," said Katherine Messier, managing director of Mobile Beacon. "We hope Sprint will now work with us to ensure the elderly, disabled, students and other vulnerable populations who rely on our service can transition to LTE quickly and avoid any disruption in service."

Mobile Beacon and Mobile Citizen currently provide unlimited broadband service across the country on Sprint's WiMax network. Sprint planned to shut down the WiMax network on Friday, Nov. 6, which would have left many of these users without alternative means of Internet access.

Sprint purchased Clearwire in 2013, but the two suppliers claim that it has failed to honor its contractual obligations under the various lease agreements, making it impossible for Mobile Citizen and Mobile Beacon to migrate their users over to Sprint's LTE network prior to the November 6 deadline.

Earlier this month, the nonprofit entities filed a lawsuit charging Sprint with failure to uphold its contractual obligations to provide the required levels of Internet service and support functionality to serve Mobile Citizen's and Mobile Beacon's community.

The nonprofit entities that created Mobile Citizen and Mobile Beacon are among the largest Educational Broadband Service (EBS) providers in the United States. EBS refers to spectrum the Federal Communications Commission reserved to serve the public interest by providing wireless broadband services in support of education. The nonprofits that make up Mobile Citizen and Mobile Beacon leased a portion of their spectrum to Clearwire for 30 years in 2006 in exchange for the ability to provide unlimited, high-speed broadband service to schools, libraries and nonprofit organizations across the United States.

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Tags: sprint  wimax  clearwire  USA