Sonic Customers are 2nd Class Citizens in the ATT U-verse World

Television services and online video discussion.
2 posts Page 1 of 1
by eatonpinecottage » Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:53 am
I cut the cable long ago. I hate Comcast and DISH, and would never pay the preposterous fees they demand just to watch commercials! I get my TV for free thanks to a high-end HDTV antenna on my roof. I live in Silicon Valley and get an absolutely pristine image from my antenna, better than any (compressed) cable or dish service can provide. (Don't believe me? Find a Broadcast engineer and they will tell you that the very best picture comes from Terrestrial Broadcasting… HD the way it is supposed to be with an unbelievable signal to noise ratio.)

That is great, except for ABC, which is Channel 7 from San Francisco. For whatever reason, their signal sucks in the South Bay, so there are regular audio glitches and signal interruptions. Strange since they use Sutro like everyone else, but their antenna or their transmitter is definitely not up to snuff and the picture is often glitchy and audio drops out.

Every once in a while, we want to watch a program on ABC that we really want to watch without glitches, like the Oscars last weekend. With the weather like it is, the broadcast over the air was regularly interrupted with data loss stripes and was extremely maddening. I even tried adjusting the antenna to no avail… all other channels came in great, but ABC 7 was crap. Yes, I've contacted ABC and they don't give a hoot, since a bulk of their viewers get their signals through cable.

But I've got SONIC! And a ROKU! And ABC has a streaming channel on ROKU! Problem Solved!!! Or not??

Turns out that Terrestrial broadcast stations offer streaming services only to certain ISPs, and ATT U-verse is one of them. As you all know, we are ATT U-verse customers (whether we like it or not) except we're second class citizens… we can't register as U-verse customers, therefore we are not entitled to receive streamed broadcasts through network providers. And the registration requirement to receive TV broadcasts through the networks require you to register your ISP on line to get an approval code to enter in to your ROKU… only Sonic is no where to be seen.

Contacting Sonic is pointless… after a long period on hold you are told "Sonic does not participate in this program". I could have told you that...

This is really frustrating as I'd like to think that being with Sonic is a good thing… local company providing a good value and all that, but the fact is we are getting less than what ATT offers their customers, and with their recent pricing actions, there really isn't that big a difference in price between ATT U-verse service and Sonic service.

I ask the CEO of Sonic to address this issue promptly: Allow us to take full advantage of being part of the ATT U-verse back-bone. I've had to put up with all sorts of service problems and network failures over the last couple of years and did so because I didn't want to be giving my money to ATT… but the fact is, Sonic is part of the ATT network, so please provide us with the same advantages of being part of that system, since we do and have put up with the disadvantages.

Happy to discuss this privately if you would prefer, but this needs to get addressed or I may be forced to go back to ATT, something I am loathe to do, but as a cord cutter, there are times when I need to rely on streaming TV, and right now Sonic is at a huge disadvantage in that regard.

Bryan in Cupertino
by amayfield » Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:45 am
In order to utilize online streaming of abc.com, nbc.com, fox.com, etc you are required to log in with your television provider credentials. AT&T offers IPTV television services bundled with their U-Verse product (such as U-Basic) at an additional cost which allows folks with that service to stream live television on the aforementioned sites. AT&T also has internet offerings that are not bundled with television service - folks with that service cannot stream live television on the aforementioned sites because they do not have a television provider.

Sonic Fusion FTTN is a resold Enterprise U-Verse data (internet) product. The product differs from the residential U-Verse offerings in a number of ways - no data caps or bandwidth throttling are two of the biggest - but also doesn't include the IPTV television service. Part of the reason for that is because including IPTV would significantly increase the price of the product.

While I can definitely empathize with your frustrations AT&T U-Verse is a brand that encompasses a broad spectrum of services and offerings - our agreement with them doesn't include many of those offerings - just the ones that were highest priority to us: data only, no usage caps, no bandwidth throttling. We opted for this in an effort to keep the price of our FTTN product as competitive as possible.
Andrew M.
Customer Experience Specialist
Sonic
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