Saved by the bell! In a last minute emergency decision, Sprint has decided to postpone shutting down its aging WiMax network. As announced, the company was planning to shut down this older network on Friday, Nov. 6. The plan was to end support for the network in order to give way for the implementation of Sprint's faster 4G LTE network.
But thanks to an 11th-hour court order, this won't be happening anytime soon--or at least today. It seems like the cries from both nonprofits Mobile Beacon and Mobile Citizen were heard by the court as Sprint was given a temporary halt order from shutting down the WiMax network. Both nonprofits rallied against the idea and pushed their concern to legal resorts as they proved that Sprint and its Clearwire unit were in violation with their existing contracts. Massachusetts superior court judge Janet Sanders has ordered the telecommunications provider to keep the network up until the lawsuit can be resolved.
The two nonprofits provided Educational Broadband Services (EBS's) to schools, libraries and other nonprofits. They were able to strike a deal with Clearwire for letting them provide affordable internet access through the WiMax network. But when Sprint took over Clearwire in 2013, the nonprofits argued that their customers' data speeds were unfairly throttled. With the court's decision, Sprint is required to keep its WiMax network active in certain areas for 90 days. During this time period, the organizations will be given more time to migrate their users to the LTE network offered by Sprint.
While Sprint disagrees with the court ruling, they hope that both Mobile Beacon and Mobile Citizen will cooperate with them during this temporary halt period to resolve the contract dispute. They have declined to comment on whether or not they will continue shutting down some areas of the network while keeping the service available to the customers of the nonprofits.