I think $8 is a fair price to pay to know that my isp isnt selling my internet data to advertisers.
I mean, fundamentally I agree and I am signing up...but I think this argument fundamentally misses my point. Sonic's pitch as I understand it is they "put people first". That to me implies they are upfront and honest with their customers, which is something the big guys are clearly terrible at. I fully support that and will pay for that. But the inability to unbundle the service and a required rental charge for a piece of equipment I don't want or need smacks to me of the exact same unfair tactics that the big guys use. I think it undercuts the entire message Sonic is attempting to put forward about being people first and different than the incumbents.
In this case, the extra $8 for sonic over ATT is directly related to a required $6.50/month rental of an ATA and then associated extra taxes/fees that go with a telecommunications product. I get the argument that you gotta pay for better service and data security, but in this case it seems like Sonic could give me all that AND undercut ATT's pricing on fiber, or at least match it, if it would allow an unbundled plan, or at least if it allowed me to not have to rent an ATA. Then we all could get a better ISP with better data policies at an equal/better price than the incumbent, which to me sounds like a more compelling sales pitch.
I don't know the details of how the numbers work for Sonic...I've seen elsewhere that the phone component is more or less required due to odd regulatory issues that forces Sonic to sell a telecommunications product to access ATT copper. Fair enough if true (although that could be made clearer on the website), but maybe that 6.50/month rental for the ATA isn't required if you don't want the phone? And to resell ATT fiber do they have the same regulatory requirement since there isn't any copper? Again, this is all opaque to a new customer. Maybe that 6.50/month rental fee is needed to make the whole thing work financially for Sonic and allow them to be in the black on these deals, which OK. But if that is true, I would just prefer to have the true cost of internet upfront instead of a backdoor charge for a device I don't need. It would, imho, match their marketing better if it just said 'this is the cost for our internet service' instead of 'here is the cost for internet and here are various added surcharges for a thing you dont want or need but you cant get out of'.