I wish I had seen this thread last weekend. I had my ATA flake out on Thursday, and had to depend on an older cell phone because I'd been unable to register my newer phone with the Communicator app. Similar problem with a new iPhone that my wife just received a week earlier - the current phone had the app registered, the new phone wouldn't take. (The 4th device was an Android tablet.)
So until the replacement ATA arrived two days later**, I had to depend on two older cellphones that had been put aside in favor of newer equipment. They rang on incoming calls, and outgoing calls could originate on them (as well as the aforementioned Android tablet), but the ATA was dead, wouldn't register, wouldn't reset, wouldn't even show the blue power LED.
When the replacement arrived on Saturday afternoon**, I tried to install it, but it also wouldn't complete the installation. After a long time (an hour?) on the phone with Isabel at tech support -- who, by the way, was great, give her a raise - she came back after checking with a Tier 2 person, and lo and behold, I got the same story about the device limit being reduced from 5 to 3. (I'd never heard about it or any previous capacity reduction, although that too explains my problems in upgrading to new devices.)
Once I logged *everything* off, then the ATA registered and came to life. And then I could log in and register the new iPhone and my newer Moto G. But at that point, I was maxed out.
If the cap has been raised back to 4 devices, that's an improvement. I'll test that with one of the logged-out devices after I get done typing this.
But I completely concur with "klui", the user communications related to this sucked big time. The MOTD lets me know every time a router spontaneously reboots, or there's a fiber cut somewhere, or you're going to take down a piece of gear for an update at midnight. And then you let us know when the maintenance completes or the status of problems encountered in the process. Being a former project manager with one of the seminal ISPs, this is what I'd expect you to do, communicate with any subscribers that are interested enough to keep informed.
But here we have a configuration change that potentially affects many users, and you fail to mention it to the user community until people's devices stop working, and you fail to communicate the change to Tier 1 support, and what's worse, you do something with the potential to disable essential communications services just as massive wildfires blow up all around the region. We didn't discover that the ATA had stopped working until late morning. WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF CAL FIRE HAD ORDER AN EVACUATION, AND THE LINE THAT WOULD GET THE REVERSE E-911 CALL HAD BEEN DEAD? I might not be alive now to write this.
I am happy that Sonic is growing by leaps and bounds, that Gig Fiber is almost built to my neighborhood, that you provide a local alternative to the Comcast and AT&T monopolies. But I currently have FTTN/IPBB, and U-verse (which is AT&T's name for IPBB) stayed up and running, but the essential telephony service comes through Sonic, and that was dead for well north of 48 hours. If that's the future, it's not a promising one.
If, as I was told, not very many subs use the Communicator app for more that one additional device beyond their ATA, then there really wasn't any true need to lower the device cap. The occasional customer with 3, or 4, or even 5 devices wasn't going to overwhelm the Metaswitch. (And in fact, if it's currently running so close to capacity that this change is necessary to keep it from saturating, it's underconfigured and in need of an upgrade.)
One more thing: I'm a semi-retired project manager with an engineering degree and a career in I.T. which sometimes included telecomm/datacomm responsibilities. How many of your subscriber base are like me, verses "mere mortals"? How many of the latter are going to have the patience, knowledge or temperament to slug through all this the troubleshooting to figure out problems like this? You're either still marketing to Silicon Valley types, or you're doing gig fiber buildouts to conquer the world. (Or at least California.) But keep this up, and AT&T will end up buying all your newly built-out infrastructure in a bankruptcy court.
Lots of words, but also lots of frustration. Anyone care to comment? Dane?
** The ATA is a whole 'nother saga. It got ordered Thursday in the Noon hour, then UPS'ed out that evening, arriving on the Peninsula Friday morning. But... then (according to tracking) UPS drops the package at the local post office, too late to make the carrier's departure for his Friday deliveries, so the box doesn't show up until Saturday afternoon. I'd asked about how the replacement ATA would be delivered, and was assured it would be UPS door-to-door. Okay, an informational disconnect between Tier 1 and Shipping. But there could have been an even better, more timely solution. Sonic has an employee who lives only a mile away from here, who parks his (or her) Sonic-branded installer truck on the street in front of his house every evening, and which I drive by all the time. Why couldn't that tech carry a few spares in his inventory, drop off a replacement ATA (or passed it to me in front of his house), and then back-filled from the central depot as convenient? I could have been up Thursday evening, instead of waiting an additional 48 hours (during, remember, an close-by wildfire outbreak) to discover the actual nature of the problem. This is the second time I've been down for days because Sonic has a process that hasn't been fully thought through, and that doesn't seem to rate telephony an essential service.