Fusion price increase and fiber expansion

Internet access discussion, including Fusion, IP Broadband, and Gigabit Fiber!
597 posts Page 2 of 60
by Guest » Tue Dec 27, 2016 2:37 pm
torstenb wrote:
What had me on the fence about that product already is the fact that AT&T is actually offering 24Mbps at this point without any modem rental charge for $50.

This is not true. Look at https://www.dslreports.com/forum/uverse and you will see AT&T will charge the $10 lease per month for all new subscriptions. People who were grandfathered in will also be charged as soon as their CPE fails and they need a new one.
by Beigel » Tue Dec 27, 2016 3:07 pm
I refuse to continue lousy service in order to subsidize those in other neighborhoods, so I suppose you can count me out as of February 1.
by Guest » Tue Dec 27, 2016 3:17 pm
Sigh.

Pretty much agree with what phr said above.

On adsl2+ 14Mb/s and don't expect fiber, or even FTTN anytime soon (in SF, 6500' from CO, underground cables).
Don't want/need Dish. Don't want/need landline. What I do want is bandwidth. I'd guess that many are in the same boat.

Currently getting by, but the increasing ubiquity of streaming/remote services/ect. means 14Mb/s is starting to feel tight. Now I'm going to become a subsidy source for services I may never see. I've never heard of any ISP raising prices on an established product. That's generally not how tech works. I realize that ISPs have real infrastructure costs, but this does seem like a cash crunch move and invokes concern for Sonic's business model (but I hope I'm wrong).

Here's the thing: Currently, I'm paying ~$53/mo for 14Mb, that's about ~$3.80/Mb. Cable will give me 55/100/250Mb for $90/100/110, about ~$1.63/1.00/0.44/Mb*. So we're talking almost an order of magnitude advantage in the best case. Yes, I can upgrade to X2, but thats still only around ~$2.61/Mb under the new pricing.
* Cable numbers are a la carte, no intro discounts, extra 20$ uncap fee, and allowing ~10% for fees.

$/Mb is a, if not the, core metric of this business from the consumer end, and for non fiber customers like myself you are losing. For 4 years I've been happy to pay more as competitors have ramped up speeds.

When I left the consumer hostile mendacity of AT&T, it felt like being released from prison. I love Sonic. Love the service. Love the privacy and ethics. Love the direct communication with management. love having a static IP. Love using my own hardware (umm... not for long the way things are going - zing!). Yes, if I switch I'm losing all this and upping my bill, and I know there are hidden/intangible costs, fine print fuckery, and submission to the dark side, but the overall value proposition becomes more compelling every day, and now it's going to get even worse.

So, I'm ranting, but I'm also disappointed. Mostly in a competitive and regulatory environment that enables this bullshit, but also with Sonic. I'm sure Dane understands the realities of this situation better than any of us, but don't piss on me and tell me it's raining - or that I can pay more for Dish to increase value. Don't bury an increase announcement in the forums, the day after Christmas, that most customers will never see until it shows up on their recurring CC bill that they won't read. This is what the other guys do.

I'm not cancelling my service and switching, but I do think about it.

DOCSIS3.1 is coming.
by Guest » Tue Dec 27, 2016 3:52 pm
Guest wrote:
I've never heard of any ISP raising prices on an established product. That's generally not how tech works. I realize that ISPs have real infrastructure costs, but this does seem like a cash crunch move and invokes concern for Sonic's business model (but I hope I'm wrong).

While I am in the same boat as you as I don't forsee my home getting Fusion Fiber until after AT&T fiber reaches us, I don't think you're paying attention to how other ISPs operate for a long time. The incumbents like AT&T and Comcast are notorious for raising their prices every year or so. Sonic bucked the trend when they announced their Fusion product many years back as their prices went from $70 for ADSL2+ to eventually $40. Their fiber product also started at around $70 in Sebastopol. I was amazed at how Sonic kept on adding features while keeping the price steady or dropping them. While I don't call internationally we actually make use of fax.

While I have conflicted feelings Sonic has to raise prices it's not like they're the only ones doing it.

Before Fusion Fiber was over 1% (I'm actually surprised at Sonic's current fiber footprint), lots of people posted how they need speed and Sonic needs to be aggressive in deployment. There were only a few who said Sonic needs to be cautious and careful about being over-extended. So for the majority of folks who wanted faster rollout, this price increase is what's Sonic has decided would best achieve that goal. If people who don't agree with this direction, where were you when these threads came up?
by dane » Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:07 pm
Thanks much everyone for the comments, I really appreciate the feedback. Clearly, my outlook is one of optimism and expansion; we have spent the last five years on product development, regulatory, technology and process for gigabit fiber access, and I am happy now to be at a point where we are ready to scale-up. I wish it were possible to keep costs at their current level, but doing so would severely curtail our capabilities to expand, which is the thing most clearly asked for by our members.

A few milestones of note: Sonic has been growing at a pace of about 20% per year for the last few years. We now have over 350 staff members working here. In the last six months, we have hired 120 new employees, which is just amazing to me. We've got some great folks here, I feel really lucky to be working with all of them. Today one in ten Sonic customers is already gigabit fiber connected, and we project that we will reach one in five connected via fiber within less than six months. More neighborhoods, and more Bay Area cities are underway, with construction quietly underway today.

Consumers have choices for their internet access, albeit too-limited ones. Our goal is to give them the best possible choice: the fastest service possible, with unlimited usage, at the best possible cost, backed by strong privacy policies and a friendly local team of great people. Clearly, we've got capable adversaries in the two large carriers, but I don't believe we should give up to duopoly, Sonic has proven since 1994 that competition can thrive, can deliver a better service, and can do it while keeping support local. The process won't be without bumps along the way (currently, long installation intervals and too-long support hold times), but please stick with us.
Dane Jasper
Sonic
by jason13 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:44 pm
Dane:

Keep on fighting the fight. I know you're doing what you have to. I really want to stick around. it's just getting harder.

BTW: what is the plan for underground cable areas in SF? Seems like it's just wait for AT&T?...


Other Guest guy: (I hate the way logins get lost on the forums)

I would maintain that even at the incumbents cost/Mb has always trended down in aggregate (not counting the satanic intro price gambits).

When I came over to Sonic from AT&T I believe it was $60/6Mb, Sonic was $45/14Mb (base prices, not counting fees). In addition much better service. Lower cost/unit. That same AT&T speed is now $30. Lower cost/unit. Yes cable would be double my current cost, but for much more Mb/s. Again, lower cost/unit.

DOCSIS3.1 really is coming and will provide fiber-ish speeds. It will cost more but since it uses existing last mile infrastructure, it can be priced as a consumer product, most likely taking over the current top tier around $100~120. Data access is a commodity. Cost/unit does, and will, continue to trend down across the industry. Sonic does a better job, on the service side, than most (if not all), but this is still the reality

This is a case of cost going up but value going down for most customers. I understand the idea of subsidizing fiber, but this would normally a capital cost that is funded by investors/shareholders for a future return on enhanced profit. Since it seems Sonic doesn't have the same access to capital, they are asking the customers to be the investors, with the return being higher speeds in the future. Knowing what I do about my location, I am unlikely to see any of that return, so my total value is dropping. I'm happy to pay more for the reasons previously mentioned, but there's a limit on the horizon.
by Guest » Tue Dec 27, 2016 5:15 pm
jason13 wrote:
I would maintain that even at the incumbents cost/Mb has always trended down in aggregate (not counting the satanic intro price gambits).

When I came over to Sonic from AT&T I believe it was $60/6Mb, Sonic was $45/14Mb (base prices, not counting fees). In addition much better service. Lower cost/unit. That same AT&T speed is now $30. Lower cost/unit. Yes cable would be double my current cost, but for much more Mb/s. Again, lower cost/unit.

Are you referring to legacy ADSL1 or any tier faster than 6 Mbps? When I had ADSL1, there was POTS requirement and that was the portion that creeped up every year until I upgraded to Fusion FTTN x1. The $30 is most likely a intro rate because my in-laws subscribed to U-verse ADSL2+ and their price went from around there to roughly $80 after the first year. They're now with Sonic with an intro rate.
by jason13 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 5:37 pm
That was 6Mb without POTS, back when the CSR's didn't know what the hell you were talking about when you said "dry loop". Before that I had 1.5Mb with POTS for about the same money, and even before that I had ISDN 128kb for about $75 if I remember correctly.

That current AT&T rate does go up to $40 after the intro year and doesn't to require POTS, afaik. It does have a 1TB cap, but at 6Mb, you'd have to be pinned about 13 hours a day to hit it.
by jthon » Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:46 pm
This makes me sad. The value proposition for Sonic for me is now destroyed. I want to keep supporting Sonic and what you're doing but $50 for my 14Mbit ADSL2+ just doesn't cut it.

I can swap to the competition and get 25MB/s for $40/month intro, followed by a jump to $60/month after a year.

That's on par with what I could expect with the $70/month X2, except X2 has modem rental on top of that so it's really more like $80/month. (I can actually find/buy a cable model which will work on Comcast for $50, while VDSL or x2 modem support is hard to come by.)

I could try out VDSL x1, but that also comes with a modem rental fee which I don't have today with ADSL and it's not clear I'll see any speed boost. It's not like I can just drop back to ADSL and drop the rental fee once I've hit the "upgrade button".

I've avoided doing business with Comcast for 15 years since I hate everything about them, but I don't see fiber coming my way anytime soon, and so I don't think I'll be able to stay with Sonic long term. Time to start shopping for another provider.

Is there any info you can release about your upcoming fiber deployments outside SF, or is that so far off I should just jump ship?
by jthon » Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:55 pm
Have you considered increasing the cost for Gigabit customers and keeping the legacy product at a lower rate where we cannot get competitive Bandwidth/$?

Or is this a clever way to get all the legacy DSL and non-FTTN customer's to drop since the bandwidth cost proposition now significantly better with the competition?
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