Sonic Fusion not working as advertised, with no solution from support

Internet access discussion, including Fusion, IP Broadband, and Gigabit Fiber!
17 posts Page 1 of 2
by willtull » Sat May 25, 2019 3:16 pm
I recently had Sonic gigabit fiber installed, only to learn that I'm actually on the AT&T network and Sonic has basically nothing to do with it. The cheap AT&T modem is mandatory (you can't replace it with your own).

It turns out the wifi coverage on the AT&T modem is so bad that it's unusable in our house. So I tried to put the modem in bridge mode and use my own router, only to learn that it doesn't have a bridge mode. So I turned on DMZ in order to deconflict the DHCP and double NAT issues only to discover (after hours of troubleshooting) that DMZ mode on the 5286 modem causes your speeds to be capped at ~ 50 down and 100 up.

This is a KNOWN firmware issue (check the hundreds of posts on the AT&T forums - https://forums.att.com/t5/AT-T-Fiber-Equipment/PACE-11-1-0-531418-DMZ-Issue/td-p/5700776) which is being addressed by AT&T for their own customers by providing a different model modem. However, when I submit a ticket with Sonic for the same issue, I'm told that AT&T won't fix the issue for me because "DMZ is not supported".

TL:DR: I was sold a terrible AT&T service, disguised as Sonic gigibit, which in reality runs at 50 Mbps max download uinless I'm willing to give up wi-fi capabiliy.

To add insult to injury, because it's an AT&T service, I have no way to interact with the actual service provider. When I call AT&T they have no record or me and eventually just hung up. I have a contract with Sonic, but they are incapable of even seeing the modem settings, let alone ordering a new device.

I was super excited about gigabit service, and so this is really disappointing. I'm sure Sonic is doing good things with their own network, but as a "Sonic" AT&T customer I feel a bit duped, with no recourse for viable service/support.

(Edited for vitriol reduction)
by Drumph » Sat May 25, 2019 3:34 pm
As you posted in a forum, I will deliver your free advice.

Read what is offered before committing.
You are upset due to your expectations not being in line with what was offered.

Your misplaced anger should be directed at yourself. Take responsibility rather than lash out.

When you buy a beer because the beer commercial is full of attractive people having fun, are you upset when your experience is a cold dark basement full of old pizza boxes and NCIS reruns?

If you don’t want average speed internet, order faster internet and read the damn offering before committing to a contract.

Life advice free of charge.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to be condescending, snarky and honest!
by cmeisel » Sat May 25, 2019 9:59 pm
In some areas sonic uses att lines and it is very clear when you sign up of it is a sonic or att line. Price is double, modem is required all things that you won’t experience if you have the sonic fiber. They have been building their network and invest heavily in their own network. This negative posting is not very productive. If you have issues call sonic instead of posting this negative, professional vomit in the forum.
by cheesefactory » Sun May 26, 2019 3:01 am
I agree with cmeisel that your post does not provide constructive feedback. However, I do want to dispel the negativity in your original post.

If you’re trying to use your own wireless router to provide WiFi, why can’t you put your wireless router in access point mode, so that DHCP is still handled by the ATT modem? If it’s possible, make a DHCP reservation on the ATT modem so that your wireless router (in access point mode) is still reachable at a fixed IP for configuration.

Your original post does not explain why your network layout requires double NAT.
by cmeisel » Sun May 26, 2019 11:03 pm
Or call sonic. Their support is generally great and I am sure they know all issues with att lines and try to make it better. Call them and them them help you. But don’t criticize a company that tries so far, invests millions to bring great access on their own lines, appreciate them. With Sonics soon att is all we will have so support them and feel free to criticize who is actually the main cause of your issues with their dumb limitations...ATT not sonic
by willtull » Tue May 28, 2019 9:56 pm
Thanks to those who have replied but I don't think you read or understand my issues, especially those who tell me to simply "call sonic". Do you really think I went through all this pain without numerous calls to Sonic?

To be fair, the Sonic support technicians were very patient and knowledgeable but were unable to help me in the end. They even researched and acknowledged the specific bug with the 5286 modem, and put the request in with AT&T, who refused to accept it or replace hardware.

I'll take the blame for not reading the fine print to understand that this was actually AT&T fiber. But that doesn't excuse the fact that the service doesn't work as advertised. DMZ mode on their modem caps download speed at 50 Mpbs This is a bug in the firmware, as acknowledged by AT&T support (did anyone even read the links I posted?). So why will they not fix it for me? I can only assume it's because I'm a customer of Sonic and not AT&T.

To all those feeling compelled to scold me for being critical of Sonic, what else do you expect me to do? Multiple calls to Sonic and AT&T did not resolve the issue. Please don't assume that because you've had a good experience with Sonic, everone else has too. You'd be pissed too if you bought gigabit and were basically told, "sorry, we can't make it work as advertised", especially after they've punched a bunch of holes in your walls and they know exactly what the problem is.

And to Drumph - please keep your "life advice" to yourself unless it's relavent to this issue. I purchased 1000 Mbps service and received 50 Mbps, so it's not clear what you mean by "order faster internet". Thanks for your condescending, snarky, and totally wrong advice.

Bottom line, I don't care how great Sonic is if they can't honor or service a contract with me, regardless of whether it's their own contract or AT&T's. And while I greatly respect Sonic's knowledgeable and polite customer support, what good does it do if they can't resolve a simple broken modem?
by willtull » Tue May 28, 2019 10:34 pm
Cheesefactory, thanks for your reply. I did try it like you describe, with the modem providing DHCP and my router configured as wifi access point. However, it still seemed to have intermittant problems which I believe are related to the modem's DHCP. As I said, there is a known problem with the latest firmware on the 5286, and I've used my own router in various other configurations without issue.

And just to clarify, I'm trying to eliminate the double NAT issue. Lots of applications, such as PLEX, will not function properly under double NAT.

The fact that a gigibit fiber modem doesn't have passthrough mode blows my (obviously tiny) mind.
by joeyyung911 » Tue May 28, 2019 11:12 pm
willtull wrote:
It turns out the wifi coverage on the AT&T modem is so bad that it's unusable in our house.

How about you expand on the root of the issue? Wasn't that the reason you pulled out your router?

willtull wrote:
I purchased 1000 Mbps service and received 50 Mbps.

You only proved you're getting that slow speed in DMZ, not with the supplied gateway. You want Sonic to be more transparent, how about you do the same.
Excelsior, Sonic Fiber
by willtull » Tue May 28, 2019 11:54 pm
Thanks for the reply, joeyyung. I've been more than happy to provide any information necessary, although at some point I may just need to cut my losses and not spend more time on it if I'm not getting any solutions.

Yes, the wi-fi signal on the provided Pace modem is very weak. What more do I need to say about that? I don't think I should need to defend my reasoning for wanting to add additional wifi access points or fix its signal strength.

I freely admit (as I did to the service technicians) that I get ~900 Mbps when I use the modem's ethernet and disable DMZ. But when I try to use the Pace modem's DHCP and use my router only for wifi, there are intermittant dropouts. Therefore, If I want functional wifi and more than 50Mbps speeds, I'm left with a double NAT setup, which prevents applications such as PLEX from functioning.

Bottom line - there is a known bug in the firmware of the mandatory modem provided by AT&T. This is unacceptable, period. AT&T knows this and is fixing it for their own customers (again, please go read the link I posted). Why is Sonic not able to do the same?

"AT&T won't fix it" is not an acceptable answer to give to a Sonic customer.
by gtwrek » Wed May 29, 2019 10:02 am
Just a couple of additional notes - @willtull - I'm in a similar situation - needing ATT's fiber service, and I'm effected by the exact bug you've referenced. I only found out about the bug after the (unknown to me) firmware update, and the sudden decrease in bandwidth, and unreliable connections.

The firmware downgrade noted in the referenced threads does work - I've done so myself to resolve my problem. Been that way about 6 months and ATT has NOT pushed a new update (to revert me to the "bad" firmware).

Another note regarding DMZ Plus mode and pure bridging. I'm no networking expert - but I was using bridging on all my Sonic (and ATT) solutions for many years. But it appears the industry is moving towards these DMZ Plus mode like solutions. I don't understand all the details under the covers - but for what I need, DMZ Plus does everything I need that bridging does. Note, I'm a more advanced user too - I run my own router (doing NAT) behind the gateway, and have SSH ports forwarded past the gateway to my internal network. It all works with the same performance/behavior as the previous pure "bridged" solutions. There's no "Double NAT" with a DMZ Plus solution.

Sonic is caught a bit between a rock and a hard place here. ATT doesn't appear to want to fix the original problem at all - even for their own customers (or at least is taking a very long time to issue a firmware fix). From the referenced thread, ATT users had to go to extraordinary means to get the alternate solution of a different (more reliable) gateway.

It's not ideal at all, but it's what we currently have. I'm sure Sonic would very much like to not have ATT as a middleman.

Regards,
Mark
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