This is key to our business model as we migrate from copper to fiber: because fiber has the same capabilities and the same price, we are not selling an upgrade, we're making a migration. So it's not a sales/upgrade process, it's a migration/scheduling process. Consumers simply get much faster and more reliable access, for the same price. This allows us to get all customers to move off the rented loops and onto the fiber we have invested to build.
Yeah I get this, and I've heard the explanation before you base where you're going to expand based on the number of total customers there are in a particular area, the more customers the more likely you are to roll out, and more customers means more money which means more funds to roll out. Unfortunately being a customer for close to a decade my patience did run out, definitely felt like those waiting for San Francisco to bury electrical lines, in that it will take about 600 years to do so (I'm not exaggerating on that number, that was a direct quote), meanwhile as an electrical company I am paying for those who have enjoyed their buried lines and their sightlines unfettered with electrical wires, and in that same vein I helped those in the Sunset enjoy their fiber, in the Richmond, Noe Valley and Mission, and maybe I'll get to enjoy it as well in "600 years". And about 2 years ago I left, the writing was on the wall, the neighborhood I live in (Portola) is one of those "forgotten" areas, where there's not a high density of customers, not a rich customer base but also not a poor enough one either to get any sort of government tax breaks for doing something in the area, not the "Millenials" or other such groups that are wired into the world, and 2 years ago when I still had only the 6Mbps service (5Mbps with my distance from the CO) Uverse wasn't even available here along with those increased speed of 24Mbps!!!! (oooooh) even the the upgraded boxes were all over the place, the service wasn't available. And if AT&T was unwilling to aggressively push into this neighborhood (Portola neighborhood up near McClaren Park) what hope did I have for a smaller company? And I made my choice, pay $60 for a double bonded DSL service for a whopping 10Mbps for like $60/month or 200Mbps for that same price, well being as I was not living a rural lifestyle but not wanting to have rural options I went with option B... because it's the 21st century and I feel like I wanted to do more with the internet. Then my wife mentioned seeing some advertisement about Sonic rolling out fiber in the area or something and I decided to check and sure enough I see 1000Mbps... even if it isn't your fiber, which lead me to make this topic.
With IP Broadband, beyond just the simplicity of having Sonic Fusion be one specific thing across all of the platforms, and the pricing and technical migration to our own fiber that enables, it only makes sense to offer a differentiated product. This is important on IP Broadband, where we are reselling bulk wholesale access on another's network. If we offering only internet, we couldn't sell it for the same price they do, because the wholesale cost (by design) simply doesn't allow that. So, we've got to add the value (and the associated cost), because otherwise, we'd be offering just the IP service at a higher cost. So for those for whom a nationwide voice line, with free global calling, all the included voice features etc adds value, we've got a differentiated a worthwhile offering. Put another way, if we just sell IP, why buy from us if it costs more than them?
See here's the thing you don't sell it for the same price they do, you sell it for 33% more than they do, at least on my side of things. Same price for same speed, but they offer a free fiber gateway, you rent one at $9.50/month, they don't require a phone service you do, which means $6.50/month, plus fed/state/local taxes and fees associated with that phone service which for San Francisco push north of $13/month I know this because I already pay these on my cell phone, and don't want to pay twice. So at the end of the day your product cost $30 more per month ("only" $20 more for the first 12 months), or 33% increase in price, and the value that you add, really has no value to me. I would be willing to pay the extra $9.50 for the rental of the gateway because I could see your company in having value on that side of things, but for a phone line? I wouldn't pay $30/month more, heck I don't pay $30/month for my cell phone. I don't even have a home phone in the house precisely because I don't want to be saddled with a non-insignificant monthly payment for a "free" service, so more me it is far from being worthwhile, and while I realize I am talking about my own preference I do wonder how many others really don't find a home phone line as "value", now if if it was a cell service line then sure. So at the end of the day, if you just sell IP, I would buy from you because of the company you are, you're not saddled with the stigmata of being a "big evil corporation", and even if you did cost a little bit more I know I'm buying into the company I want to support, that said there is a limit to how much I'm willing to support, when I signed on with you way back in the day and you gave a free DSL modem, and it eventually broke I was happy to pay for the equipment as your price was the same as the competitor and that little extra was more than enough to be with your company, but again $30/month more or 33% is too much, and I realize you're not getting a good portion of that but your bundling process means that I am on the hook for it regardless to where the money actually goes. And if you could say "We'll be in your area in a year or two" and do so with confidence I would be willing to hop on board now and pay the premium, but I'm not willing to pay that premium for an unknown quantity of time, if any. Now if you could send the request to your competitor to hook up the fiber and then the help ticket to setup the voice side of thing on your side "mysteriously disappeared" and it never happened I'd be more than happy with that :)
That said, do look forward to getting a mailer from you in the future letting me know you are expanding fiber to the area, and I'll happily pay whatever deposit or install fee there is, especially if your fiber prices for YOUR lines undercuts the competition, but I can't hold my breath for that to happen and I can't support you simply on the notion that something favorable may or may not happen before I'm too old to care about the internet much anymore.
PS your Captcha check is really horrible and difficult to understand most of the time, as I'm literally on my 10th try now! Scratch that 12th.. make that 13th... 15th