Just ordered Sonic resold 1Gbps ATT Fiber, questions about ONT, RG, etc.

Internet access discussion, including Fusion, IP Broadband, and Gigabit Fiber!
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by krby » Tue Jun 08, 2021 12:17 pm
Hi, I just placed and order for the Sonic 1000Mbps Fiber service. In my area, my only choice is Sonic-using-ATT. I have a few questions about what is required equipment.

I'm technically savvy and have strong opinions about the network setup. In an ideal world, I would have:
ONT ==> GigE to my router ==> my switch and other gear.
One of the many reasons I chose Sonic is to avoid the ATT requirement of using their own RG (which handles the authentication). When I placed the order with Sonic this morning, I was told the ATA and Modem rental are required for all Sonic-over-ATT Fiber accounts. The sales rep said the rentals is required as part of Sonic's contract with ATT, but that the equipment itself is not required. She said the "modem" would likely be the BGW210 or BGW320, obviously which shows up at install is ATT's decision, not Sonic's.

My confusion is that the BGW320 is an all-in-one ONT, Router, Wifi AP. From what I can tell, it does have a sort pass-thru mode, but there are some reports that that mode is still limited because it's still doing a 1:1 NAT rather than just being a bridge. So, I'm hoping to get more technical details here about what to expect? Will I get "just an ONT", an ATA for the phone, and also the BGW320 behind the ONT? If not, what are my options?
by krby » Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:53 am
To get some responses, let me ask more specific questions:
With a Sonic resold Fiber new install, I understand the current contract requires I rent an ATA and a RG. I'm trying to figure out if I actually have to keep the equipment turned on and running. So:
* Assuming the installer brings a BGW210 (no integrated ONT) does Sonic require I leave this running? I believe Direct-from-ATT service does, it has certs on the device that are part of the authentication. Does Sonic require this?

* Assuming the installer brings a BGW320 (HAS integrated ONT) does Sonic require I leave this running? If not, will there be a separate ONT installed?

* If this situation ends up where I have to leave the BGW320 on and upstream from my router, I have seen the Sonic support articles about how to enable pass-thru mode. Have others who have done this encountered any issues with speed or connections dropping?
by apl » Wed Jun 09, 2021 12:36 pm
It sounds like the sales rep gave you some bad info.
The short answer is that you still have to use the ATT gateway, the same as if you were getting service directly from ATT. (Although it's more accurate to say that "the ATT network requires" this than that "Sonic requires" it.)

More specifically:
- I have the older setup (separate ONT and BGW210), but my impression is that they are switching to the integrated BGW320 for new installs, so you probably won't have a choice.
- Regardless of that, it would make little difference. With the 320 it's of course impossible not to use the gateway. With the 210, it's still technically required (to authenticate to the network) but not quite impossible to get rid of it: if you do a web search, you can find some rather involved instructions for rooting a 210 router, copying the certificate to a Ubiquiti router, and using that instead.
by briancw » Wed Jun 09, 2021 1:13 pm
Howdy Kirby,

I've got some answers for you here.

You are likely to end up with a BGW320 which is required for the service to work. It has an integrated ONT; if they give you a BGW210 it will need an additional ONT like apl but we typically see BGW320s these days.

You'll end up needing the device up and running to gain an internet connection, however, IP Passthrough is a viable and typically reliable method to connect a 3rd party router. We've written up a guide for that right here: https://help.sonic.com/hc/en-us/article ... rty-router

So, in summary, the BGW320 or BGW210 ONT combo will need to be powered on and connected. If you prefer a 3rd party router IP Passthrough is a viable method to attach a 3rd party router.

If you run into any issues feel free to reach out.

Best wishes,
Brian W
Community & Escalations Specialist
by krby » Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:33 pm
briancw wrote:
So, in summary, the BGW320 or BGW210 ONT combo will need to be powered on and connected.

Ooof. Well, that's not awesome. Part of why I was a choosing Sonic was an effort to get away from the AT&T authentication certificate stuff I know is required by direct customers of AT&T. Part of the other reason I was choosing Sonic was the reputation for awesome customer service, which seems to have been not quite awesome in this case. I know the rep on the phone was clear about this being resold ATT because we talked about the ATT installer. I'm also pretty sure my question was clear: "Can I turn off the ATT gateway and go directly from the ONT to my new router?"

Ok, well I was told I can cancel within 30 days of install and only be charged for that first month. Hopefully that's true? If so, then I'll proceed and that will at least let me run some tests to see if I can get things working using IP Passthrough. I assume once I'm doing passthrough I can still setup a couple of port forwards on my own router like I do now?
by nhbriggs » Thu Jun 10, 2021 7:15 pm
You can also search around for others who have documented how they solved this problem -- at least with the separate ONT, where they used a pfSense box (or Edgerouter Lite) to split off the authentication packets to send to the AT&T gear so that their network is happy, and sends all the real data directly through to your own gear.

I have no idea whether there is a solution for the integrated ONT case.
by krby » Wed Jun 16, 2021 5:39 pm
Install was done today. It went really well. The ATT installer was friendly, fast, and was happy to run the fiber to in the crawlspace to the garage on the opposite corner of the house from the pole.

He installed a BGW320-505, the all in one unit. Because I have my own router and wifi APs, he walked me thru turning off wifi, then setting up passthru. So far I'm really happy!

This weekend, they'll be some more usage, will see how the passthru holds up on the BGW320.
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