FCC - Emergency Benefit Program

Internet access discussion, including Fusion, IP Broadband, and Gigabit Fiber!
35 posts Page 3 of 4
by itsalann » Sun May 16, 2021 7:38 pm
aaronchang wrote:
derekcwallace wrote:
Here is what I have experienced...

Now my choice is to stay with Sonic and continue to pay these high fees or to look into other providers and hope they don't sneak in hidden costs like modem rental or any of that jazz which would negate the point of getting into the program. And hope they have comparable connection speeds.

...


Check out if MonkeyBrains supports your area, they have coverage in Berkeley, but they're still expanding there. I have Sonic Gigabit (500 mbps, lol) at my home in the Sunset, but have MonkeyBrains for my SF Mission apartment (had Sonic for 11 years here). They use WISP technology, so you need an antenna (small); I get 120 down, 90 up.
They also have a "hi-speed" network where folks are reporting 200-500 mbps. My ping time is 6ms and jitter is 2. It's all $35 flat, but paid in quarterly. I believe they're also on the EBB list, but haven't done any research.

As for the EBB, I weighed out which service I wanted the discount to apply to. My mobile wireless bill is around $200 (linked to my apartment address), so I opted for the discount to apply to that. For my house (different address) I would've liked the discount for Sonic, but this is where we're at now. What I'm saying is, maybe you can apply the discount to something else because it's only one per household.


MonkeyBrains is figuring things out with their EBB, but they’ve committed to getting the program to work with their service. They’re also not installed yet in our building, so that would take a few months to work through.

I’m SOL on switching because my parents are with resold AT&T Fiber and cant cancel until 2022. They basically qualify for everything (Lifeline and EBB) but we can’t get either because Sonic doesn’t qualify for either of those programs. :|

It might be cheaper in the long run to cancel and switch to AT&T. Not sure I want to live with the downtime though (Comcast also offers $10 low income 50Mbps Internet tax free)
by giovannimurray » Sun May 16, 2021 11:25 pm
Dane,
Now that the program is up and running, could you please do an updated post on what Sonic will be offering regarding the EBB discount for existing internet only, non-ATT re-seller customers. I could really use the $50 discount and I don't quite understand why you wouldn't offer something that you will be reimbursed for.
Thanks.
by itsalann » Tue May 18, 2021 11:34 am
giovannimurray wrote:
Dane,
Now that the program is up and running, could you please do an updated post on what Sonic will be offering regarding the EBB discount for existing internet only, non-ATT re-seller customers. I could really use the $50 discount and I don't quite understand why you wouldn't offer something that you will be reimbursed for.
Thanks.


I think Dane made it clear: Data only service to Berkeley USD for zero cost. No one else at this time:
by eventswestinc » Tue May 18, 2021 1:17 pm
Hello Sonic Customer Support & Dane,

I am writing to inquire about your implementation of the FCC Emergency Broadband Benefit. As you are likely now aware, it was rolled out last week on May 12, 2021 and offers $50 per month towards qualifying broadband internet, including bundles as noted here:

https://www.fcc.gov/consumer-faq-emerge ... nd-benefit

Select the "Eligible Broadband Plans" tab in blue above the list of collaped FAQs. Once it has been selected a blue arrow will point down. Go to FAQ #5 (of 6)

I currently subscribe to a bundle of services that includes internet, TV, and phone. Can I apply the Emergency Broadband Benefit to my monthly bill? expand and contract
The Emergency Broadband Benefit can be applied to the cost of a bundle of services that include broadband, voice, texting and/or associated equipment. If your bundle also includes a TV service, you will be responsible for that portion of your bill, as well as any services that are above the monthly discount.


Please make this possible for the thousands (or tens of thousands) of your customers (employees and business owners in tourism, restaurants, bars, salons, etc., etc.), who had major job and income losses (and still aren't back to normal yet) due to Covid19 and every little bit of support helps. It seems like a no brainer, your loyal customers who qualify, get to keep $300 in their pockets while still keeping their internet with Sonic over the next 6 months and you guys still get paid for the services.

Thank you!
Benjamin L.
P.S. - I used your 56K dial-up service from 1999 to 2003 in Occidental & then moved out of the service area; have been enjoying Gigabit Fiber since 2017
by dane » Tue May 18, 2021 10:54 pm
The issue isn't the bundle, it's integration with our provisioning, signup, equipment inventory and billing platforms. This is no small project, so it's not something we can instantly deliver.
Dane Jasper
Sonic
by nighthawk » Fri May 21, 2021 9:14 am
While it's frustrating that Sonic can't support the EBB program, I wouldn't place any blame with them. The program, while well intentioned, is poorly conceived and implemented.

The government should have allowed qualified households to be reimbursed directly and/or made future state/federal broadband infrastructure grants contingent on participation in the program.

Since the program will last 4 months or less, it's probably not worth the hassle of switching your home internet provider.
by itsalann » Sat May 22, 2021 12:04 pm
nighthawk wrote:
While it's frustrating that Sonic can't support the EBB program, I wouldn't place any blame with them. The program, while well intentioned, is poorly conceived and implemented.

The government should have allowed qualified households to be reimbursed directly and/or made future state/federal broadband infrastructure grants contingent on participation in the program.

Since the program will last 4 months or less, it's probably not worth the hassle of switching your home internet provider.


Unless the funds are expended within 4 months, it expires 6 months after the end of the declaration of the pandemic:

NOTE: The EBB Program is a limited benefit that will expire when the available appropriated funds are exhausted or six months after the Secretary of Health and Human Services declare an end of the COVID-19 health emergency.

I just verified my parents through the Universal Service Administrative site, so the government does all of the verification and validation...

"You recently submitted an application for the Emergency Broadband Benefit.

Your application has been approved. If you haven’t already done so, the next step is to sign up with a participating phone or internet company by 08/20/2021."
by jmtech » Tue Jun 01, 2021 9:03 am
itsalann wrote:
"You recently submitted an application for the Emergency Broadband Benefit.

Your application has been approved. If you haven’t already done so, the next step is to sign up with a participating phone or internet company by 08/20/2021."

A lot of us are finding the approval process easy, but actually finding an ISP that will take EBB is proving difficult. For the most part it is a lot easier to apply the benefit to a cellphone, but this will only give you 4 to 5gb of high speed tethering a month.

The benefit is much needed, it is a shame we can't easily use it.
by akseawolf » Fri Jun 11, 2021 7:21 pm
jmtech wrote:
itsalann wrote:
"You recently submitted an application for the Emergency Broadband Benefit.

Your application has been approved. If you haven’t already done so, the next step is to sign up with a participating phone or internet company by 08/20/2021."

A lot of us are finding the approval process easy, but actually finding an ISP that will take EBB is proving difficult. For the most part it is a lot easier to apply the benefit to a cellphone, but this will only give you 4 to 5gb of high speed tethering a month.

The benefit is much needed, it is a shame we can't easily use it.


Every cell phone company is more than happy to use the EBB voucher to give you a cell phone plan with bigger data bucket than typical cell phone plans. Also AT&T and Xfinity websites claim that they are able to accept EBB vouchers. Not sure why EBB came as such a surprise to other ISPs.
by karenmsf » Wed Jul 07, 2021 3:27 pm
I qualify for the government's Emergency Broadband program and Sonic is listed as one of the companies on the application site. I just called Sonic and was disappointed to hear that they are not participating in this program. I very much believe in supporting small businesses and I appreciate Sonic's great product and customer service. But, as someone on a fixed income, every dollar counts. Losing out on a refund of $50/month is a big chunk of change for me. Sonic, please keep exploring ways that you might be able to coordinate with this government-funded program. I really want to keep you as my internet service.
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