I promised I would give an update on how my OpenRange experiment went.

It was great; I really loved the idea. A cell-phone style Internet connection and wi-fi in one simple device. The customer service reps were friendly and helpful; the box came and everything worked as promised.

But when I called BellSouth to let them know I was canceling my DSL service, they transferred me to the hated Retention Department. Who knew what schemes they would employ, what guilt they would induce, to get me to continue paying? What kind of people would work in such a place?

Really nice ones, like at OpenRange, it turns out. And they employed a scheme I couldn’t refuse: double the Internet speed (okay, that has yet to happen) for $5 less each month than I had been paying (a few dollars’ saving over OpenRange)—and a free wireless router to top it all off.

So I canceled OpenRange. They can’t up your speed. It all depends on how strong the WIMAX signal is at your home. And for me the speed was only slightly faster (as tested here) than BellSouth had been (I got two out of three “bars” on the OpenRange device). Also,I didn’t really have the need to take OpenRange with me to other locations around town or in the country—though I still think that’s a fantastic idea.

I do highly recommend OpenRange to others. If you have a strong signal, I think you’ll be very happy. Even I with my less-than-full signal strength was more than pleased. In the end, it was money that made the difference.

And OpenRange gave me a full refund. And they don’t yet appear to have a Retention Department. Too bad. Bet they’d be even nicer than BellSouth.

Author: Mark Ward

PhD in NT; theological writer for Faithlife; former high school Bible textbook author for BJU Press; husband; father; ultimate frisbee player; member of the body of Christ.

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