Fiber in North Oakland/Longfellow/Temescal

Internet access discussion, including Fusion, IP Broadband, and Gigabit Fiber!
35 posts Page 1 of 4
by espier » Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:34 pm
Hi Dane & Sonic team!

We're eagerly awaiting our Fiber rollout here in North Oakland. I see Sonic trucks daily when I'm in Berkeley, but haven't seen any activity down here in months. Any chance you can give us an update on the schedule? I'm on 40th St between MLK and West, if that's helpful.

I'd be really curious to learn about how you're staging things: are you finishing up Berkeley before moving to Oakland, or are there city permits you're waiting for, or something else? What are the main bottlenecks at this point? While I'm of course most interested in when I'll get service, I'm also curious about how infrastructure gets built out in the real world and have found your updates to be really fascinating.

I talk up Sonic to my East Bay friends (and anyone else who will listen) as often as possible – some of them have gotten fiber before me. Crossing my fingers it'll be on our block soon.

by johio » Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:00 pm
Seconded. I'm 2 blocks south on Apgar between MLK and West (hello neighbor). I had a brief moment of panic a few weeks ago seeing an AT&T truck installing fiber at a place on my street. I'm really hoping none of my money ends up going to the Death Star, so any Sonic construction updates will be music to my ears.

I think the last email update said "just 4% remains in construction", so I'm a little curious how targeted "your area" is.

I also really enjoy the detailed updates that give us all a glimpse behind the curtain to see how things get built in the real world.
by espier » Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:51 am
johio wrote:
I think the last email update said "just 4% remains in construction", so I'm a little curious how targeted "your area" is.

Hi neighbor!

FWIW, the email I received a couple months back had the same 4% number – but it's hard to know what that really means! If that 4% is something required for the rest of the system to work, then it has a very different impact than if it's just tying off loose ends of construction. The email certainly made me expect things to happen quickly, but it's been silence ever since. Totally understand that these things take time, but it's hard to manage expectations when there are so many unknowns.
by Tim » Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:35 pm
Hey All,

I must say I'm not as happy about the monthly updates as some of you seem to be.
They don't really provide any reliable information that can give us an idea as to when we can expect construction to be finished let alone when we'll be connected.

As johio is asking: what is my "area"? is it my CO? my city? the whole of East Bay or even the Bay Area?

So I'm like you espier, I don't know what to expect from Sonic and it is getting increasingly frustrating. I'm putting up with a dsl connection (from Sonic) that gets regularly overloaded because of poor upload and increased number of users, and I'd like to know if I can expect fiber in a matter of weeks or rather years, so that I can plan for alternatives to meet my current needs.

I regularly ask support about this, but the answer is invariably the same, and I've seen Dan give the same message on this forum too:
(paraphrasing) We don't know exactly what the construction crew is doing, they only update us after the fact, we'll let you know as soon as we know more.

I have trouble believing that there isn't someone at Sonic who has a global understanding of the deployment plan and would be able to provide useful updates to the customer facing service team, and thus to us, end-users and potential new clients.
Useful information means:
  • status: planning, permitting, constructing, connecting, online
  • by area: an area being a specific geographic zone, either a city, or even better a neighborhood
  • and a somewhat reliable timeline that allows one to guess-timate ETA based on status of one's area

Why is Sonic not being more clear about all this? Is it a communication strategy, just to try and keep us hanging in there another month and another month?
If so, that's a poor one to be sure!

For my part, and I'm sure I'm not the only one here, I'm using Sonic services because of their moto, their mission and values. And I sure want to avoid providers like ATT and Comcast. But receiving empty updates for the last 6 months has started to errod my trust in the company and I may end up having to look for alternative elsewhere.
Don't get me wrong, delay is fine. I've been on both sides (client and provider) of delayed projects, in construction and otherwise, so I understand that it happens. But one thing is for sure: the worst thing about delay is not communicating clearly about it!

I'm ok to wait for another 6 months to get connected, if need be, as long as I have a reasonable explanation as to why it's delayed for another 6 months, and that that explanation gives a good level of confidence that the 6 months are not going to turn into 1 year so that I can plan for a temporary solution.

Sonic, if you are listening, please take this plea into account!
Thank you.

by bibihome » Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:52 pm
Tim again, logged in this time around.
I have to amend my previous statement: Dane is also giving very detailed technical information sometimes...
I just wished there would be a more consistent and clear communication.
by adambier » Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:00 pm
Any news on the neighborhood around 3900 Lusk St in Oakland? It seems like this tiny corner of Oakland/Emeryville is just about dead last in terms of getting wired up--sounds like some permitting or pole repair issues.
by tomlevy » Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:57 pm
We've been Sonic customers for 6 years and pre-ordered gigabit fiber back in Fall 2018. And I agree, it's been a long frustrating wait. But Sonic staff are also frustrated by the delays. Yet perhaps it would be possible for Sonic to be more transparent about their progress.

However, the last few days I've seen multiple trucks from Bronco Communications in my neighborhood on Dover Street between Children's Hospital and 63rd Street and on the cross streets. The crews appear to be stringing cable along the aerial poles. Are these Sonic contractor crews?

Also, today in front of my house I saw two crews from a different company (Journeyman...) attaching new crosspieces to poles. Are they also working for Sonic, and preparing to hang cable from the new crosspieces?

I've been on the phone with Sonic customer service and emailed Dane too. He replied personally when I asked about whether, as erroneously suggested by Sonic PR, we ought to reach out to our Oakland city council member to ask for help with permitting problems. Dane replied and said that would be counterproductive. So I held back.

Can I get an update for my block please? I'm at 5319 Dover Street. Thanks.
by packeted » Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:18 am
It looks like the fiber had at last been installed across the road from us on the poles at 5965 Shattuck Avenue in North Oakland. How soon till we can get the house connected? :)
by espier » Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:29 am
I got the April Update in my inbox last night, which says that "As of this month, over 21% of the network in your area is live!" As happy as I am that the number is going up (looks like progress!), without any context this number still feels completely meaningless. Does this number represent homes that actually have Sonic service? Lines that are connected to the CO? Something else? 21% of what?

Dane, any chance you can give us a little more context on what these numbers mean?

In any event, I'm crossing my fingers that the number gets up to 100% soon.
by » Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:51 am
A contractor crew from Journeyman Level Telecommunications is hanging Sonic fiber on Dover Street today between 53rd and 54th streets. I confirmed with a truck driver that they are on contract for Sonic. I also spoke with a Sonic employee earlier this morning who was on site in a Sonic pickup truck. He also confirmed Sonic is continuing to hang fiber cable in this neighborhood, in what Sonic calls the "9B" area. He guessed existing Sonic customers in 9B might be connected by the end of April or early May, once all fiber is hung and connected to the local connection point at 55th and Shattuck streets. I believe he said the connection order goes: 1) existing customers, 2) pre-orders, 3) new customers.
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