Clearwire Is Making a Name for Itself in D.C.

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Starting this Friday, Washington D.C. will be host to a 10-day technology festival, Digital Capital Week. Modeled after a combination of Internet Week NY, Fringe Festival, and the Social Media Week, the event is expected to attract most of D.C.'s technology community.

According to the festival's producers iStrategyLabs and Shiny Heart Ventures, Clearwire's (Nasdaq: CLWR  ) 4G WiMax network saved Digital Capital Week.

Clearwire, of course, is the 4G WiMax company majority owned by Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S  ) after Clearwire merged with Sprint's wireless broadband unit Xohm in 2008. At that time, Intel (Nasdaq: INTC  ) , Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) , Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA  ) , and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC  ) also took minority stakes in Clearwire. Branded as CLEAR, in January 2009 the company unveiled Portland, Oregon as its first 4G WiMAX wireless broadband market and has now expanded across the country into more than 30 other cities. As of June 1, that list includes Washington D.C.

Conference organizers released this statement:

When we launched DCWEEK three months ago, we knew there would be a lot of unknowns. Many of those unknowns have included venues, content, schedule issues and malfunctioning robots. However, when you're producing a festival for nearly 4,000 people one of the most expensive unknowns is connectivity -- meaning, will the wireless access work, how strong will it be, and how much will it cost in the venues you're using.

Sadly, when we found out the cost part – it almost killed the festival. It was going to cost almost $30,000 to power an Internet connection at our venue.

Their solution:

CLEAR is ... graciously providing wireless access at our core festival events from 6/16 to 6/19. They're literally pointing the signals from their nearby towers at the building we'll be in.

The buzz and brand love from this during the festival is a big win for Clearwire, getting the company in front of many in the D.C. tech community who may never had heard of it.

While Clearwire has its doubters, for now it seems Clearwire has a bright future ahead of it, at least in Washington D.C.

For those of you in the D.C. area, The Motley Fool's John Keeling (TMFJake), VP of Community Intelligence, will be speaking during Digital Capital Week on June 18, on a panel titled "Money + Tech." Get yourself registered!

Dan Dzombak will be attending Digital Capital Week, he does not have a position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. Intel and Sprint Nextel are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Google is a Rule Breakers recommendation. The Fool has created a covered strangle position on Intel. Motley Fool Options has recommended buying calls on Intel. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (2) | Recommend This Article (12)

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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On June 09, 2010, at 11:56 AM, colorhive wrote:

    Cheers to you Clearwire and all who are involved in making the event a reality. Much appreciated.

  • Report this Comment On June 09, 2010, at 3:34 PM, HangtownCA wrote:

    I live in Washington DC and am moving next month. I plan on ditching Comcast for Clearwire when I move. Clearwire's plan starts at $10/month less than the 39.99 12-month 'promotional' rate I got from Comcast for internet only service. Even if CLEAR turns out to be slower it's worth the monthly savings over Comcast's standard rate for internet-only service.

    I don't have a TV (went with PC + Projector), so Comcast's bundled offerings weren't relevant when I was shopping around. I found Clearwire's combination of price and mobility compelling but I'm still on the fence when it comes to investing in their stock due to competition with LTE. Good on them for helping out with the festival though!

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