Business service architecture question - native plant vs AT&T

Internet access discussion, including Fusion, IP Broadband, and Gigabit Fiber!
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by bubba198 » Tue Nov 22, 2022 7:22 am
Hi everyone,

I have a question about Sonic's Business service architecture - native plant vs AT&T, can someone share their setup. I want to avoid "plumbers delight" with multiple boxes connected to each other, as we're considering Sonic's business service.

Here's an example about what I am looking for. Below is the native AT&T GPON architecture, documented from a real (not Googling) business setup currently in service. What's Sonic's in the 2 cases - native fiber plant and "via AT&T network" delivery?

PS. for our technical audience, yes the media converter uses standard multi-mode fiber patch cord and SFP, the GPON is from the Ciena-to-CO using a long-haul regular GPON SFP and single strand fiber on the Ciena's 3930 one of 2 WAN ports.

Thank you

Arhitecture of AT&T GPON business service.png
Arhitecture of AT&T GPON business service.png (88.07 KiB) Viewed 1007 times
by dane » Tue Nov 22, 2022 8:23 am
I'll ask a team member to respond here with more details. Because we offer a variety of types of business services:

At the entry-level, a basic PON connection is configured and delivered like a residential customer. An xPON ONT (some regions are GPON, while others are XGS-PON) dynamic IPs and an Eero router/WiFi device.

At the mid-level, in locations where the architecture is PON, but customers want a dedicated service, we leverage the PON infrastructure but deliver a connection with an SLA, static IPs, etc.

And our most common business connection type, available in business parks primarily, is "Sonic Business Fiber," an active ethernet (point-to-point) service with a dedicated connection at a specified speed. We'd deliver 1Gbps or 10Gbps hardware, then a tiered service, for example, 2Gbps or 5Gbps service. The on-site hardware is a Juniper edge router, generally with 2x10Gbps ports and multiple 1Gbps ports. In buildings with multiple tenants, a single device can be uplinked at 10Gbps and then deliver a few 1Gbps-2Gbps connections to tenants.

On these latter two architectures, we also offer asymmetric services for sites seeking access for smaller quantities of desktop users at a lower cost.

Businesses can also select from an array of voice services, from POTS lines through SIP trunks. Our most popular configuration for businesses is a symmetric or asymmetric internet access connection plus a Hosted PBX phone solution and perhaps a POTS line or two for legacy applications such as elevators or alarms. We've also got a fax gateway product.

Finally, for multi-site businesses, we offer managed dark fiber solutions. This is just a dedicated strand across our regional network connecting two or more buildings, allowing the customer to light and manage their connection. Most light these at 10Gbps using low-cost commodity long-range optics, but some are provisioning at far higher speeds using faster equipment and wave-division multiplexing. Dark fiber allows a business to treat a building across town or in the next town over the same way they'd treat a workgroup two floors up, creating a simple network with no bottlenecks regardless of location in-building, on-campus, or at a remote site.

Hopefully, staff here can respond with a bit more detail on how the hardware for that mid-level product is provisioned.
Dane Jasper
by mditter » Tue Nov 22, 2022 11:20 am
Hi Bubba198,

Dane is correct in his breakdown of Sonic's services, and I will elaborate a bit further here.

The vast majority of our Enterprise Sonic Business Fiber services are delivered using Sonic owned fiber from end-to-end using Active-Ethernet technology, where a direct fiber is connected from our fiber panel to a Juniper ex-2300c device. We provide a bridged Ethernet handoff port with a static IP block to our customers router or firewall for them to distribute the connection across their LAN. We have full visibility into the circuit, can provision additional Enterprise services such as multiple types of voice, layer 2 MPLS transport, and other Enterprise services like our Edge managed network and Wi-Fi. We provide a SLA with 24x7 award winning support with this service.

The mid-level service he mentions is available at specific locations and this service delivery type may be used depending on the speed ordered. It includes a GPON/XGSPON ONT in between our fiber panel and Juniper ex-2300c device. We provide static IP's, have full visibility into the circuit, can provision additional Enterprise services such as multiple types of voice, layer 2 MPLS transport, and other Enterprise services. We provide a SLA and 24x7 support with this service as well.

The entry level service on our fiber network aka our small business service is also location specific. It provides dynamic IP's only, and a GPON/XGSPON ONT device along with a RG/Eero Wi-Fi router. Multiple voice lines, and other advanced features are not available on this service type, there is no SLA and normal support hours apply.

Our Fiber SSE service where we utilize AT&T fiber for the last mile (between our end users locations and the nearest Central Office) also chains a few devices together. It is dedicated/active-E fiber. AT&T fiber uplinks from their FTP (fiber termination panel) into a Ciena 3930. Sonic installs a Juniper ex-2300c connected to the Ciena in order to provide IP's from our network, and service through our network hub. This gives us increased visibility into the circuit, and allows us provision additional Enterprise services such as multiple types of voice, layer 2 MPLS transport, and other Enterprise services. We provide a SLA and 24x7 support with this service as well.

Your Sonic Account Executive/Sales Engineer or our sales/support teams can help relay what service type(s) are available at your business location(s). Let us know if you have any additional questions, happy to help!
by dane » Tue Nov 22, 2022 11:31 am
To get started with business services from Sonic, visit:
Dane Jasper
by bubba198 » Tue Nov 22, 2022 6:42 pm
Thanks everyone, I will reach out to business sales to hash out details and availability, Thank you
by bubba198 » Sat Dec 03, 2022 7:10 am
After very pleasant and non-push sales type discovery I can share the business level of service lessons I've learned:

Getting native Sonic fiber is awesome but if you're a bit larger company availability isn't quite there, that's our case so no go there, plus we're multi-LATA sites, another stupid 1980 hurdle of the bureaucrats so I'll share the "via AT&T" use cases

Sonic SSE (that's the enterprise level of service) is exactly at part with AT&T on the dollars so that's left little room for differentiation and I'm not down playing the customer service and support piece where clearly Sonic has the upper hand

Sadly the entry level small business service via PON is where AT&T wins because they can provide static range and Sonic can not. Sonic's entry level PON service is dynamic only. So for those who ask the scary questions, the 1G/1G with 5 usable static IPs for AT&T PON business entry level comes at $620/month

For what it's worth - Sonic will gain business customers if you start providing static configuration on the entry level business PON via AT&T network. Clearly Sonic's customer service and support is superior which is a huge win for small business, but the static range is a must.
by dane » Sat Dec 03, 2022 7:23 am
Do you need a multi-site, multi-LATA WAN, or just internet access with static IPs?
Dane Jasper
by bubba198 » Sat Dec 03, 2022 9:01 am
Hi Dane, Just Internet, I would have loved the layer 2 multi-site product, intra or inter LATA 15 years ago, the biz sales team was very clear about it but... it is 2022 and yes only Internet for a "small" business with many sites looking to reduce MRCs; data-only; zero voice.
by dane » Sat Dec 03, 2022 10:40 am
We should always be able to beat any competitive price. Send them the AT&T quote document (or website capture) and ask for an ICB price that’d provide higher speed and lower cost. We won’t ever lose on price when we have our own fiber built to a premise.
Dane Jasper
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