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No option for data only

Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:32 am
by jesserosen
I've been super happy with my data service through Sonic, as well as the support people on the few occasions I've needed help. Today, when I tried to cancel voice I learned that this isn't an option to separate. I'm not sure the point of the approximately $10/mo in access fees, which gets split out on my bill each month for a phone line I never use.

Re: No option for data only

Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:51 pm
by what the hell
I wish that people would stop complaining about this. You should read and understand what service you are signing up for.

Re: No option for data only

Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:51 pm
by dane
We have discussed here elimination of the voice line, because for those who do not use it, the tax is significant. It wouldn't lower the price of the service - data alone would cost as much as voice+data today.

But with 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. So that's added a new imperative for us on this topic.

I'll also say that the fires last year reinforced for me the usefulness of a voice line for the home. Our members got reverse 911 calls notifying them of evacuations, which were key for life safety. And when someone in your home needs help, the "enhanced" part of e911 means that first responders receive your full address, including the apartment or unit, before the call even completes - with mobile they just get a location estimate. For children or the elderly, who may be unable to describe where exactly they are when calling from a mobile phone, that's a good thing.

We've also worked to make the voice line as useful as possible - for example, it includes free calling to fixed lines in over sixty countries, as well as all of the voice features such as caller ID and voicemail. We even include robocall blocking, at no extra cost. For those working from home, or even just conducting an important call domestically or internationally, a high-quality voice line can really be a joy to use.

We also have a goal of product simplicity. By having just one configuration, it simplifies our operations, which reflects in lower costs overall for our members. So, unlike an incumbent operator who might charge separately for not only voice service but also voice features, long distance, a fax line, etc - we try to incorporate everything into one simple price and package.

For all of these reasons, 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. I know that's not a perfect fit for everyone, but that's the path we've chosen.

Re: No option for data only

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:49 am
by Justin Other
Please point me at the regulation that requires voice service to be bundled with internet service. The actual charge for phone service is over $24/mo on my bill, including the $10 Sonic charges for voice with the rest being primarily various federal and state (and probably local) regulatory fees. I would like to read the regulation then contact the FCC - and my various representatives - as needed to request that support of this surprisingly obsolete service by regulation be eliminated.