Sonic offered me FX1 50/50 @ $50/month, FX2 100/100 @ $70/month, and FX3 1000/1000 @ $90/month.
AT&T offered me 100/100 @ $50/month, 300/300 @ $50/month, and 1000/1000 @ $70/month. The first 2 have 1 TB/month transfer cap.
A person in Sonic tech support was confused about their tiers and stated in email FX1 was asymmetric. Another CSR quickly made a correction. We chose FX1 since that is actually a small increase of ~$4 from our current plan. And if we need more bandwidth we should be able to upgrade without requiring a technician dispatched.
The upgrade request took exactly one week to get a tech to do the changes who showed up at 9AM. The pole closest to my home didn't have a fiber splice enclosure (http://www.broadbandsoho.com/BBS_VZ_FTTH-5.jpg) and he fortunately had a 300-foot outdoor cable in his truck, otherwise one had to be sent onsite. Getting the cable into the house was non-eventful. There was already a caulked hole where my Cat6 homerun for FTTN goes into the garage and I planned this day by running some ethernet drops to my garage several months ago.
When my parents got Sonic Fiber, the tech installed a small fiber entrance terminal (https://pimages.solidsignal.com/169F-02-02__medlrg.jpg) at the front of their house while mounting the ONT by an electrical outlet. For my installation AT&T used an all-in-one ONT/entrance terminal bracket intended for indoors. (https://forums.att.com/t5/image/serverp ... 1.0&px=200) The difference between the all-in-one and a dedicated entrance terminal is the latter can be installed outdoors but would require a coupler--the all-in-one just needs a splice between the outdoor cable and a patch cord. My parents' transition enclosure was also mounted indoors. My cabling took around 2 hours.
Now the ONT needed actviation. Unfortunately the website the technician was using couldn't see any ONTs to activate for my service order. After spending over an hour on the phone, the folks over the phone said the only solution was to cancel the order and rebuild it for a followup dispatch.
The followup was a week later. Another technician came that day at around 9AM. I got a call from Sonic 15 minutes prior that informed us the tech would be late and should arrive 15 minutes from that point. This time he used an app on his phone but again saw no ONT, so he again called his support. He informed me that the app's interface had changed recently because of ONT activation problems. His support activated the ONT within 15 minutes and the BGW210-700 Residential Gateway quickly authenticated to AT&T's network. He used his app to test the bandwidth and it showed 50/50 but latency was around 20 ms. I asked him this and he said it was due to him using a VPN. Later I confirmed that latency is around 5 ms while using IP Passthrough. This tech told me AT&T now uses the same topology as Sonic did several years ago: dedicated fiber entrance terminal and separate ONT.
Code: Select all
Test Completion Time Direction Throughput(Mbps) Overhead Average Latency(ms)
09/09/2019 10:47:46 downstream 64.631 70 4.946
09/09/2019 10:47:26 upstream 63.348 70 4.401
After everything was working for 1 day, I was told by support the number port won't happen unless I connected the new ATA. My number ported in less than a day. I started getting calls on my home phone and noticed my cell wasn't ringing through Sonic Mobile Communicator. On my PC the Accession program said the password was incorrect and that's when I discovered the setting at members.sonic.net/voice/commportal had default settings. Sonic Mobile Communicator was unchecked and I had to create a password. After I did that the app on iOS/Android could login but not Accession. It complained about my service provider is not supported. That's when I called Sonic support and I was told to uninstall and reinstall the app, which worked.
One issue about the number port is all my contacts in Accession were lost, including the transition number's. Sonic support now knows about this potential issue and should start warning customers who do future upgrades, or change their workflow and perform auto migrations. I hadn't expected this because the last time I upgraded, I went from ADSL (no soft phone capability) to FTTN. Sonic support told me the port is like subscribing to a new phone line except it has the old number. For those who are migrating and use a soft phone, export your contacts from sonic.net/voice/commportal before your equipment arrives.
On the whole the connection works well. The largest difference is the upload + latency. All my monitoring programs needed adjustment, esp. the modem stats scraper. The RG doesn't show ONT statistics so I make do with FW version, data transfer stats, uptime, things like that. Logging into my home network isn't a drag anymore. I can monitor my webcams without it being a slide show. Bufferbloat is an issue. The IP Passthrough is a problem if users want a larger NAT table. The BGW210-700 has 8K entries while my firewall supports 128K.
EDIT: The upgrade does not come with a UPS. Because my UPS is in my network closet, I needed to get one for the ONT. Then I remembered I have an old Belkin UPS that AT&T gave customers who subscribed to VoIP and that has the same voltage rating as the ONT's power adapter. It's also rated provide 3A instead of 0.5A.