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Court Grants Motion By Nonprofits And Sprint To Extend WiMAX Service

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A Massachusetts state court has granted a joint motion to extend a preliminary injunction that prevented Sprint from shutting down its WiMAX network.

"This request is a positive step forward for everyone involved. We've made great strides in our effort to migrate our users to Sprint's LTE network, but there's still more work to do," said Katherine Messier, founder and managing director of Mobile Beacon. "This extension will enable us to ensure that the students, seniors, disabled, and other vulnerable populations who rely on our service keep their broadband access. We're not going to stop until we've given every last person the chance to make the switch to LTE."

The original preliminary injunction required Sprint to keep WiMAX operating in 80 cities through February 2, 2016. The modifications to the injunction create a schedule for a phased WiMAX shutdown with 16 cities shutting down by February 2nd, 39 cities by February 29th, and the remaining 25 cities by March 31st. The updated list of the WiMAX decommissioning schedule by city is available here.

For more than five years, Mobile Beacon and Mobile Citizen have provided unlimited broadband service for just $10 a month to schools, libraries and nonprofit organizations across the country on Clearwire's WiMAX network, which was subsequently acquired by Sprint. Sprint had planned to shut down the WiMax network this past November, until a Massachusetts state court stepped in on the eve of the shutdown to put a three-month hold on Sprint's plan and preserve Internet access for Mobile Beacon and Mobile Citizen's community of users.

Over the past three months, Mobile Beacon and Mobile Citizen have successfully migrated an estimated 40% of their joint customers, but more time is needed to give their remaining users an opportunity to move to LTE prior to losing WiMax service.

"We remain committed to the customers we serve," said John Schwartz, the founder and president of Mobile Citizen. "And we will continue to do whatever we can, including continuing to hold Sprint accountable to make sure it continues to keep our community online."

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Tags: sprint  clearwire  wimax  USA