Just when the telecommunications giants thought they had flat-rate data plans headed out the door, here comes The Puck.

If you look at the oh-so-slick website home of The Puck (3/22/2012: well, Puck no, again … The Puck is dead, and Clearwire has replaced it with a handful of other 4G devices they call CLEAR Spots) you’ll notice that it’s not available everywhere just yet. In fact, this little thing isn’t going to make any difference in the plans that the AT&T ‘s and Verizon ‘s of the world make—yet. But The Puck is a great example of how one company’s business change plans can derail another’s, even when the new guy is way smaller than the company they’re attacking.

The short of this story is that people who use The Puck (or the other offerings from Rover) will get high-speed, flat-rate bandwidth. And the rate, while not low, is fair; $50 per month for unlimited use, in line with what you pay for wired service through your cable company. No contracts, no wires, just a short-circuiting of the plans from the big guys that were starting to look like we’d have to accept.

And if you only need to use The Puck occasionally, that’s covered too, for less money, and again . . . as you need it, without a contract.

Watch for The Puck’s availability where you live, work, and travel to. And when you can, plan to jump; you can run your entire data life over one of these things . . . and maybe even drop a phone line or two.

Metered Data rates? I say Puck No!

ADDENDUM: Just eight hours after I posted this David Pogue clued the world into something I had previously missed: For ten dollars less than service on The Puck, you can get service from Virgin Mobile that’s available almost everywhere. It’s 3G, which is slightly slower under most conditions than The Puck’s 4G, but . . . wow.

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