When I first signed up for my Sprint EV-DO some eight months ago, I couldn't wait to use it. In my second month of service, there I was, blogging on the train from Portland to Seattle.
But you know something? I haven't needed EV-DO's flavor of broadband wireless since then. Neither have I been tempted by other wireless broadband flavors, such as Verizon's EV-DO and Cingular/AT&T's EDGE network. Why? Oh, several reasons:
I work mainly from home, where my Comcast high-speed Internet service offers the speed and dependability I need. Just one service disruption in the last six months- and that includes challenging weather conditions.
Wi-Fi is nearly everywhere. Starbucks down from the cliff where I live is open 24-7-365. The hotel that I am staying at during this rather delightful business/pleasure trip to South Florida has free Wi-Fi. The Convention Center where I was this past week has inexpensive WiFi. Free high speed Internet access was available on the press room computers.
When the weather gets warmer in my hometown (Portland), the parts of town that I like to hang in will have free muni Wi-Fi. If there's a slowdown, well, we have Starbucks on every corner.
Sure, I can see the poinit of EV-DO's regionwide blanket coverage as a boost when you are in motion. But when I am in motion I usually am driving. That makes EV-DO impractical.
And for those emails while I am out and about? Well, I have my BlackBerry. Can even do some limited blogging on it as well.
What I am saying here is that EV-DO has proven irrelevant to my workstyle and lifestyle. It took me eight months to realize this, but now the die has been cast.
"Substantial penalty for early withdrawal"- statement has been associated with premature cashing of CDs, and well, take a cold shower, blogger. But the shibboleth is true here as well. So then I did the math:
At $59.99 a month for EV-DO and $10/12 a month for WiFi, I'd need Wi-Fi five days a month to cover the ROI. Most months, I either gret free Wi-Fi or pay for only a day or two.
Sixteen more months of EV-DO at $59.99=$960.
Cancellation penalty- $200.