Minnesota Public Radio looks at what WiMax may do to the country's only successful for-fee city-wide Wi-Fi network: Brandt Williams examined whether Clearwire's WiMax service entering the Twin Cities could spell disaster for US Internet, which covers about 95 percent of Minneapolis with Wi-Fi service.
US Internet charges about $20/mo for a rate of 1 to 6 Mbps downstream, while Clear offers service for the home for $25/mo for 1 Mbps downstream up to $45/mo for 3 to 6 Mbps downstream (bursts over 10 Mbps) for unlimited use. Mobile plans are $35/mo for 2 GB of use or $45/mo (first six months at $30/mo) for unlimited use. Combined home and mobile plans are avaialble, too, at $50/mo for the fastest home and mobile service.
There's still room a value consumer in this space. I would suspect one of the typical 16,000 US Internet subscribers has considered and rejected $40 to $60 per month for bundled and unbundled cable modem service, even though that would be far faster and is generally available in the city. The same subscribers might have a laptop or iPod touch that they use for access with the same account while out and about.
Because $20/mo used to be the baseline for dial-up service, that number still has some resonance in predicting whether people will jump up to the next level. You can listen to the story right here: