Is gigabit REALLY available?

Internet access discussion, including Fusion, IP Broadband, and Gigabit Fiber!
10 posts Page 1 of 1
by MikeSF » Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:11 am
I haven't been a member for MANY years, 5 Mbps simply was not enough, and I periodically check back and at most I'd see up to 5- 10Mbps with bonded service which again isn't fast enough for my tastes, especially at the price. I made my deal with the Devil (he who shall not be named) for fast internet, and have lived with it. Periodically I'd check availability and I think last year I finally saw 50Mbps service, for I think $60 which I"m not sure is the 24Mbps Uverse bonded. But now I decide to look, and what do I see... 1000Mbps?! Shut the Front Door!? WHAAAAAAAAAAAAA!?

So I question if this is REALLY available to me, or is this just a "generic" AT&T offering portal and when I sign up I'll get hit with the reply of "Oh that isn't available in your area, but we do have 50Mbps service for a fantastic price as well". Now the reason why I am questioning this is because I live in San Francisco, in the Portola district, which is the the neighborhood practically no one knows about, and it's one step above Bayshore as far as "richness", and quite honestly things are slow to roll out here even when the rest of the city was enjoying Uverse our "Uverse" was still the 5Mbps DSL line. Plus my wife checked availability a couple months ago and it wasn't available, again some 50Mbps was. So, again... for realsies? I can have gigabit of I want?

And with that, is it possible to get ONLY internet without phone? It's not that I care about the phone side of things, but I'm tired of all those taxes and "fees" (aka more taxes) that go along with a line that I quite literally will never use, plus my cell phone is tired to a SF address so I get hit with all those taxes and fees anyways, and apparently double dipping with 2 lines at the same address is ok, and I really don't want them to triple dip.
by Larns576 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:43 pm
Sounds like ATT fiber through Sonic. I believe ATT has fiber installed throughout most of Portola just a couple months ago. Phone service is most likely required though.

Hurry and order!
by MikeSF » Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:40 am
Yeah looking at the prices and how they mirror AT&T's pricing lead me to believe this is leased lines just like back in the day.

That said, that phone requirement is pushing it in the range of deal breaker for me, Which when you add in the ATA rental and the added "phone taxes" for San Francisco we're looking at roughly $20/month more than AT&T, and considering AT&T currently has no modem rental fee, that's almost $30/more than AT&T after 12 months, $20/more for the first 12 months. I would love to support Sonic, but not at a 25% premium, hell I'd even be willing to buy my own fiber modem.

Who knows I was a customer for a very long time with Sonic some years back, when I left they mentioned something about some "rejoining bonus" (or something) if I ever come back. Maybe I'll have to get on the phone and find out if that's still applicable and if it has any pull with them.
by m.harmon » Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:30 am
Looks like you checked it out and it showed it was available. That is pretty awesome.

In terms of the phone service: The phone and the internet service are bundled together. One can't exist without the other.
M. Harmon
Sonic Customer Support
by MikeSF » Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:34 pm
See and that's the major problem, it CAN exist without the other, considering you rent an adapter that makes phone possible over the internet, without that adapter phone doesn't exist, but internet still does exist.

Now I'm not sure if this is the business model Sonic has gone with, or if this is a stipulation AT&T imposes on you for leasing their lines but it's the 21st century with almost everyone having cell phones and no one really needing landlines and quite a few removing landlines, it seems a bit backward thinking to require a phone service with every internet service. I'm not ordering a copper line to my house, I'm ordering a fiber optic cable.

As I said I was a customer a LONG time ago, Sonic gave a modem for free, and when that process stopped then buying your own was perfectly acceptable when that original one broke (ZTE quality!!!) you simply gave up the right to remote diagnostics if something gone wrong, because rental fees over the long haul ultimately what makes something more expensive than it is. So maybe I just have some "but this is how it used to be" level of nostalgia but when you show a price of $80 for the first 12 months plus taxes and fees, absolute lie, it's $96 for the first 12 months plus taxes and fees because the rental equipment is mandatory.
by m.harmon » Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:46 pm
For Sonic to provide any service it has to be bundled. The FCC's reclassification of internet access as an information service, in order to use copper lines we are required to include a telecommunications service - and voice telephone qualifies.


We have worked to make the voice line as useful as possible to go along with our a goal of product simplicity. By having just one configuration, it simplifies our operations, which reflects in lower costs overall for our members. For the Foreseeable future, our Fusion product, on copper, fiber, or IP Broadband, will remain as the name says, a Fusion of both data and voice services. We know that's not a perfect fit for everyone, but that's the path we've chosen.
M. Harmon
Sonic Customer Support
by MikeSF » Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:05 am
Ok, so either I get it, or I don't get it.

If I get 1000Mbps service, am I getting copper lines at all? I thought that was straight fiber with no copper involved.

OR

Because you still have legacy products involving copper, you need to have voice tied to that level of access. In which case because of all the legacy product you still offer, you as a company choose to "simplify things" by making everyone have voice (even those without copper) because some members are required to have voice (because they have copper)

Now I hope I understand where I'm coming from, you offer the same product as a competitor because it quite literally is the same product but said competitor does not have a requirement to have voice attached to any line which is not copper and this is why it seems confusing to me. I feel this would be similar to requiring electric vehicle owners to get a smog test, simply because combustion engine cars still exist and it's easier for the DMV to simply send smog test notifications to every registered vehicle instead of classifying as two separate things.

That said, I really hope Sonic changes their policy if this is the case as I would like to use them as a company that I remember being with so long ago, but I don't want to be saddled with all the FCC and local government fees and taxes that are associated with a telephone service considering I already pay them with my cell service, then coupled with the fact there is a rental fee is required for the VoIP equipment even if you do not want it does seem to make it quite totalitarian.
by dane » Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:36 pm
MikeSF wrote:
Because you still have legacy products involving copper, you need to have voice tied to that level of access. In which case because of all the legacy product you still offer, you as a company choose to "simplify things" by making everyone have voice (even those without copper) because some members are required to have voice (because they have copper)


Bingo. But more importantly, our Fusion service is the same across all of our platforms; CLEC copper (ADSL2+ and VDSL2 with POTS), IP Broadband and Fiber - all with the same set of pricing and capabilities.

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.

Now I hope I understand where I'm coming from, you offer the same product as a competitor because it quite literally is the same product but said competitor does not have a requirement to have voice attached to any line which is not copper and this is why it seems confusing to me.


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?[/quote]
Dane Jasper
CEO
Sonic
by MikeSF » Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:07 pm
dane wrote:
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?
[/quote]
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
by dane » Wed Oct 24, 2018 5:10 pm
Yep, I hear you, and this is why we're so focused on expanding.

And, I'm aware of how our pricing for resold service stacks up, as I said we've got to add phone service because for those for whom that is of value, we're a good deal. We couldn't sell the service for less, so omitting it would mean we're selling an un-differentiated product for a higher price.

Our focus is on delivering unlimited gigabit fiber service on our own network, backed by the right policies, great customer service, and a leading price point. We're building that as fast as we can, limited only by how many members we have subscribing to all of our platforms today. It's a mission, and we're well on our way, and I hope everyone will stick with us and support that goal because I really believe it's a worthwhile one.
Dane Jasper
CEO
Sonic
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